Asus M4A88TD-V EVO review

Gives AMD users a route to USB 3 and SATA/600, and at a decent price, too

Mike Jennings
5 May 2010
5
Price when reviewed 
103

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.

Asus M4A88TD-V EVO

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.

Details

Motherboard form factorATX
Motherboard integrated graphicsyes

Compatability

Processor/platform brand (manufacturer)AMD
Processor socketAM3
Motherboard form factorATX
Memory typeDDR3
Multi-GPU supportyes

Controllers

Motherboard chipsetAMD 880G
Number of Ethernet adapters1
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
Graphics chipsetATI Radeon HD 3450
Audio chipsetRealtek HD Audio

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type4-pin
Main power connectorATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total4
Internal SATA connectors0
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors1
Conventional PCI slots total3
PCI-E x16 slots total2
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots total1

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors1
USB ports (downstream)2
FireWire ports1
eSATA ports1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports1
3.5mm audio jacks6
Parallel ports0
9-pin serial ports0
Extra port backplane bracket ports0

Diagnostics and tweaking

Motherboard onboard power switch?no
Motherboard onboard reset switch?no
Software overclocking?yes

Accessories

SATA cables supplied1
Molex to SATA adaters supplied0
IDE cables supplied1
Floppy cables supplied0

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