Asus M4A88TD-V EVO review
Gives AMD users a route to USB 3 and SATA/600, and at a decent price, too
We’ve seen a handful of motherboards equipped with both SATA/600 and USB 3, but so far all of them have been Intel-based and cost around £200 exc VAT. Those with AMD processors can now get in on the act, though, thanks to this refreshingly affordable board from Asus.
With two USB 3 ports and five SATA/600 connectors on a Socket AM3 board, any system built upon the M5A88TD-V EVO will be well set for the next few years, even if you do need a solid-state disk and a USB 3 external hard disk to really see the immediate benefit.
For more current technology, four DIMM sockets accept DDR3 memory at speeds of up to 1,333MHz, and there are two PCI-Express x16 slots, a single PCI-Express x1 socket and three PCI slots. It’s not quite as packed as the A-Listed Gigabyte MA790XT-UD4P, but it’s plenty for most uses.
Making its debut on the M4A88TD-V EVO is AMD’s new 880G chipset, which is built on a 55nm die and includes an integrated ATI Radeon HD 4250 GPU. It’s a weak graphics chip in gaming terms, but it can decode 1080p video without breaking sweat, which is its main purpose here. The trio of HDMI, DVI and D-SUB outputs on the rear of the Asus board also endear it to media fans. The backplate is well stocked, with five further USB 2 ports, eSATA and Gigabit Ethernet, along with coaxial S/PDIF, six audio jacks and a single PS/2 input.
The mid-range pricing of the M4A88TD-V EVO means it’s missing some enthusiast features. There’s no onboard overclocking, no power or reset buttons or a clear CMOS switch, and the inclusion of four DIMM sockets rather than six makes it a little inconvenient for a triple-channel setup. The bare minimum of extras is included in the box, too, with single SATA and eSATA cables and one IDE lead.
While it does exchange some practicality for future-proofing, the Asus M4A88TV-D EVO offers USB 3 and SATA/600 at a very tempting price. It may be overkill for many at this point, but once USB 3 takes off it’ll look like a shrewd investment.
|Price ex VAT||£88|
|Price inc VAT||£103|
|Features & Design||4|
|Value for Money||5|
|Motherboard form factor||ATX|
|Motherboard integrated graphics||yes|
|Processor/platform brand (manufacturer)||AMD|
|Motherboard form factor||ATX|
|Motherboard chipset||AMD 880G|
|Number of Ethernet adapters||1|
|Wired adapter speed||1,000Mbits/sec|
|Graphics chipset||ATI Radeon HD 3450|
|Audio chipset||Realtek HD Audio|
|CPU power connector type||4-pin|
|Main power connector||ATX 24-pin|
|Memory sockets total||4|
|Internal SATA connectors||0|
|Internal PATA connectors||1|
|Internal floppy connectors||1|
|Conventional PCI slots total||3|
|PCI-E x16 slots total||2|
|PCI-E x8 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x4 slots total||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots total||1|
|USB ports (downstream)||2|
|Optical S/PDIF audio output ports||0|
|Electrical S/PDIF audio ports||1|
|3.5mm audio jacks||6|
|9-pin serial ports||0|
|Extra port backplane bracket ports||0|
Diagnostics and tweaking
|Motherboard onboard power switch?||no|
|Motherboard onboard reset switch?||no|
|SATA cables supplied||1|
|Molex to SATA adaters supplied||0|
|IDE cables supplied||1|
|Floppy cables supplied||0|