This Asus motherboard based on the 780G/SB700 chipsets really left us scratching our heads. Here is why:
The performance of the board was not really even close when compared to the 790FX motherboard. Now I know that the 790FX is the flagship chipset for AMD, but the honest truth is that the 780G should not score so much lower than its big brother. There will be performance differences, but certainly not to the degree that we saw in this review. When we look at the scores in FEAR, Crysis and WinRAR, it is obvious that there is something wrong with either the motherboard or the Phenom processors on this board. When we saw the issues that we did, we swapped the Phenom CPU out for a 5000+ and the scores normalized. So who is to blame? AMD and the Phenom? Asus and the BIOS implementation? Who knows?We may never find out…
The layout of the board was absolutely fine. There were no issues that we experienced at all in setup. Overclocking was not done on this board. That may disappoint you, but in all honesty, we spent way too much time just trying to get the Phenom to run, let alone trying to overclock it. It is a budget board, so any overclock that you get is a big bonus. The Asus M3A78-EMH is reasonably priced around $87 plus shipping at your favorite online retailer.
As we mentioned in the introduction to this article, Nate took a look at two other boards that were fitted with the 780G chipset. The BIOS on the ECS A780GM-A had some BIOS issues, which made using it very, interesting, to say the least. The Gigabyte MA78GM-S2H was a totally different story though, as Nate had a lot of positive things to say about it and basically said it was the 780G done right. Be sure to do your homework before you pick out which 780G motherboard is right for you.
Legit Bottom Line: For the money, the Asus M3A78-EMH HDMI is not a bad buy, but with the quirks we had with the Phenom processor and/or the BIOS, it will not be your best buy, even if you are looking for a 780G.