Almost anyone who builds computers has a healthy respect, if not love, for the name Asus. For most, it goes back to the motherboards it released that would do things that Intel did not want done, and did it well. I think of the dual P III motherboard that, by clever trickery, allowed users to have dual Celerons in tandem, when Intel wanted users to purchase the more expensive Pentium IIIs instead.

Those were good days – the ones where if you wanted two processors, you first had to have two sockets on the motherboard, much more visually impressive.

Back to the present – today, Asus is still brining features that others later emulate, like Q-Fan, Express Gate, and for the modders, MyLogo. Well, we have news from Tech Connect that another winner is in the pipeline, and will soon appear.

It is an AMD processor board, that brings Phenom II and DDR3 goodness to the microATX form factor, along with the updated AMD 785G chipset. This chipset is supposed to offer all the performance (read overclocking) of the older 790 chipset, with a more friendly price, so it will find its way into lower cost boards.

Still upcoming and still not officially announced, the AMD 785G chipset is the silicon powering the microATX motherboard seen below, the M4A785TD-M EVO. The new board features a 2oz copper PCB (like quite a few Gigabyte products), the Express Gate instant-on OS, and has support for AM3 processors, four DDR3-1800 memory slots, plus one PCI-Express x16 slot.

The M4A785TD-M EVO also boasts Radeon HD 4200 integrated graphics (Hybrid CrossFireX support included) backed by 128MB of SidePort memory, one eSATA and five SATA 3.0 Gbps ports, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1 channel audio, D-Sub, DVI and HDMI outputs, an EPU (Energy Processing Unit) for higher energy efficiency, and features like Q-Fan, CrashFree BIOS 3, AI NET2, MyLogo 2 and EZ Flash 2.

If all goes well then the M4A785TD-M EVO should become available later this quarter so keep an eye out for it.

image coming attractions!

This is an updated version of the board that I built a system with about 5 months ago, that has remained in my son’s hands, almost never to be used by me. It looks as though I’m going to have to get one of these so I’ll have my own Quadzilla.

For those who have never owned an Asus board, the difference in price is worth it – and if you shop at Newegg, or someplace similar, you won’t really be paying that much more. People talk about things that ‘truly just work’. That is a great description of Asus motherboards. No iffy starts, no flaky service, just flawless performance. They also last a long time, being of quality construction.

If you are planning a Phenom build in the near future, you owe it to yourself to put this board on the shortlist of boards to closely investigate. (This board would also make for a great HTPC build, with the Radeon 4200 and sideport memory. That chipset has already been shown to handle Blu-ray with no hiccups or jerkiness whatsoever.)

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Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.–  Albert Einstein

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