I bought this to replace an Asrock motherboard which worked fine until a rather unexpected suicide abruptly limited its practical use to that of a albeit slightly spiky doormat. After looking around for something decent for under £100, I settled on this over a similar Gigabyte and lower-chipset Asus motherboards. Upon opening the box I was pleased to see a nice comprehensive user guide which for some excellent toilet-reading, 4 sata cables (2x 3.0 Gb/s and 2x 6.0 Gb/s), 1 double-headed IDE cable, a VGA switch card, driver DVD and 1 "Q-Connector kit", which constitutes two small plastic things, one of which connects to the system panel pins and one a single USB connector to raise the accessibility up by about a centimetre.
With regards to performance and usage, I've had no problems with it thus far. There was a moment of slight hysteria when I hit the power button and nothing happened, but I remedied this by giving the "MemOK!" button next to the RAM slots a press to which my PC responded by starting up successfully, much to my relief. A pleasant surprise was the inbuilt Radeon 4290, which can run older games a treat and I've found that it's able to run L4D2 on medium, Monday Night Combat on medium, and CoD4 on low (frankly I'm surprised it can run it at all). While clearly no substitute to a discrete GPU, I think it's nice to be able to have some functionality straight out of the box. I found overclocking a trifle; I rammed my x6 1055t (stock 2.8 Ghz) up to stable 3.5 Ghz straight off with only a slight voltage bump. Whilst I have no doubt that it could hold higher overclocks admirably, the limiting factor here was keeping the damn thing cool.
So all in all I think this is an excellent motherboard for a reasonable price. It has all the features the average gamer could want, and I would most definitely recommend it.
Did I buy this board to be the gamer of the year...no. Did I buy this board to outdo everyone else with a graphics card...no Did I buy this board to game online faster that anyone else...no So why do I buy this board...
I am not a gamer but I do realise it can be a gamers heaven. It will take the new AM3 Processor (not AM2+/AM3) the pure AM3 has a different pin configuration. It will take the new memory modules AMD CL9 - These are different pin configurations to previous modules. All in all I just wanted a great, simple motherboard that would future proof me for a few years.
See the full specification on the supplier website.
After a few weeks of working what are my conclusions...
(a) Go for the maximum memory you can if you are running 64bit Windowns 7. I have 8Gig installed and the (4 x 2Gig) and the links/triggers are awsum fast. Remember if you are running windown XP or Win7 in 32 mode your OS can only address 3Gig so everything over 3Gig is wasted. With 64 OS Win7 you can address everything over 3Gig so 8Gig is wooooooo so fast!
(b) Remember to give yourself a Boost...Win7 can use a memory stick as a win boost option to speed your system, make sure you take full advantage of this option.
(c) If you have IDE CD/DVD drives, get rid of them. This motherboard takes ages to recognise these old drives. Now-adays everything is SATA so get a SATA DVD Rewrite Drive for circa £25 and this board will auato recognise it and configure it. Motherboards these days are designed to recocnise SATA, IDE like floppy drives have limited life.
I am not going to go into every aspect of the board, but for a great all round board, this is hard to beat. I would emphasis this board is linked to my main purpose - web, office, photo, video. Linked to my 6-core processor AMD3 works a treat.
A very nice motherboard, installed without a hitch, and worked from the word go. I would have liked support for more SATA drives, but it was very easy to add a card with additional sockets. I am only using one graphics card, and it appears to work equally well in either socket, with the other one blanked off with the supplied card. This was useful to me, as it was much easier with my set up to install the graphics card in the secondary socket, rather than the primary one. It was a shock to discover that it had no floppy drive. However, trying to remember when I last used a floppy made me realise how unnecessary a floppy drive is now.
This motherboard is just fantastic, it costs you no money as far as motherboards go, and it gives you so so much!! its very easy to install (read the instructions!) i thought that i would have to re-install windows and other drivers once i changed out...not at all, its almost as easy to say this is plug in and play, you install drivers as you would any other hardware and i recommend you update the BIOS from the AMD website, i also recommend you download ATI catalyst to help installation go quicker and easier. the AMD Overdrive utility works very well on Windows Vista.
its fast and its blown my world. will not be upgrading MB for many many years.
bought this for my first ever pc which am currently on atm and great performance and the best thing about it is the future proof of this item , just need to update the bios /drives etc and your fine. The turbo & core unlock feature is great also just a flick of a switch and wham that's you.
Well documented, easy to understand configuration and all the requisite information, software, and recommendations to build a first class PC that eventually ended up with a Windows speed factor of 7.2. I'm more than delighted with it.
This motherboard was 100% perfect, came packaged with loads of little goodies inside of it too, perfect amount of screws + extra spare parts for building it, perfect chipset for building my gaming pc and the board itself is just brilliant, highly recommended