ASRock M3A780GXH/128M Motherboard ReviewMon, Jun 22, 2009 - 12:00 AM
The ASRock M3A780GXH/128M is a board for the performance-minded consumer with a budget in mind. Sitting at $89.99 and equipped with enough features to cover a variety of niches, the board is rather appealing. Like all 780G and 790G based motherboards, the M3A780GXH/128M would work rather effectively as an HTPC with the HD3200 IGP capable of decoding 1080p smoothly. For a general gaming platform the board offers plenty of graphical options with CrossFireX supported and 140w CPUs supported, giving you access to the fastest CPUs AMD has to offer. To round things off, even though the BIOS is a mess, the board is quite the overclocker with a stellar 75% overclock on the HTT bus.
That all being said, the board isn’t without issues. When I first received the board I thought it had a snapped trace as the outer channel for the memory slots wouldn’t function regardless of what memory stick I used. After swapping through a handful of memory sticks I was able to get it to boot in dual-channel mode. In all the testing there was no discernible pattern; sometimes it would boot and successfully POST and it was good to go until I pushed the overclock too hard. We have contacted ASRock over this issue and hopefully we will have an answer soon. As of time of printing they have not been able to duplicate the boot issue, so it might just be limited to the memory kit we are using.
Besides that one snafu, the board was a solid piece of work which functioned as well as could be asked of it. If you are looking to make the upgrade to AM3, have a low budget and want a decent overclocker, then the M3A780GXH/128M looks to be a decent choice.
Legit Bottom Line: For a cool $89.99 the M3A780GXH/128M gives you a budget platform with performance leanings.