Even though the formal release of the AMD 785G chipset is not set to occur until sometime in August, the first 785G motherboards have been shipping to retailers for weeks and one managed to find its way to our front door here at Legit Reviews. Today, we have the ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO motherboard to take a peek at. This socket AM3 motherboard uses the AMD 785G and SB710 chipsets and is packed full of features that one wouldn’t expect on an entry level AMD motherboard that will range from $70-$90 if the price leaks are correct.
For starters, the AMD 785G platform will be the first to feature highly anticipated ATI Radeon HD 4200 Graphics, which means that DirectX 10.1 gaming performance will be coming to IGP mainboards. That means that the AMD 785G platform will have better video performance than the AMD 780G chipset, which uses ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics. The title of being the world’s fastest motherboard GPU still belongs to the ATI Radeon HD 3300 Graphics on the AMD 790GX motherboards, as the second number in AMD’s IGP nomenclature dictates the performance level. That is why the Radeon HD 3300 is faster than the Radeon HD 4200.
Inside the retail box one will find the bundle that comes with the ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO motherboard. ASUS includes four Serial ATA cables, one Ultra DMA 133/100/66 cable, the I/O shield, Q-Connectors, user manual, motherboard support DVD and a case badge. The ASUS Q-Connectors allow you to hook up the front panel connectors to the supplied removable plug and then connect this plug onto the motherboard. This is a life saver when assembling a system down in a case where space and light is at a minimum. The I/O panel is just the standard stamped metal one, which is a bummer as we really like the ASUS Q-Shield version that is designed to decrease any electromagnetic interference from escaping out of or into the chassis through this area. It seems ASUS is planning on leaving that as a feature on their higher-end products.
As you can see from the image above the ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO is a full size ATX motherboard that features the AM3 processor socket by AMD. The M4A785TD-V EVO uses Stack Cool 3+ and is part of the Xtreme Design initiative that ASUS is currently promoting. The board has a very clean layout and features an 8+2 phase power design. AMD and ASUS asked us not to go into any more detail than what can be seen from pictures of the board, so we can only give you a brief overview of the M4A785TD-V EVO. This motherboard features SidePort Memory, which is an individual on-board DDR3 chip that acts as a memory buffer for the integrated Radeon 4200 graphics. Since the board has the Radeon 4200 graphics on-board it also sports ATI Hybrid CrossFireX technology.
Expansion capabilities come in the form of three PCI slots, one PCI3 x1 slot and two x16 PCI-E 2.0 slots for those looking to run video cards in an ATI CrossFire configuration. It should be noted that the blue PCIe 2.0 slot x16 operates at x16 mode and the gray PCIe 2.0 slot operates at x4 mode.
The back I/O panel offers plenty of connectivity. The board features a single purple PS/2 combo port and a total of six USB 2.0 ports available on the I/O panel with more available on the board itself. Additional connectivity includes an optical S/PDIF port, a single eSATA port, a single IEEE 1394a Firewire port, a single RJ-45 Gigabit LAN port and the eight channel surround sound ports. When it comes to video connections you have the 15-pin VGA port, DVI-D port and the HDMI port. This motherboard is fully HDCP compliant, so it should be ideal for Blu-Ray playback or for any other protected content.
The heat sink on the AMD 785G chipset is impressive looking with a twin color design that looks like something from the orient. The days of boring old cookie cutter heat sinks have been long gone, but it is still amazing that designers keep coming up with new and innovative cooling solutions.
Stay tuned for a performance review of this great looking AMD 785G motherboard once it becomes public!