Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe/WiFi-AP review

Price when reviewed

At a startling £143 exc VAT, the M3A32-MVP is closer in price to premium X58 boards than to its Socket AM2 brethren. Justifying a price such as this demands some special features.

Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe/WiFi-AP review

In fairness, it’s a board with some unusual tricks. As the name implies, the big one is Wi-Fi: not only can you connect to wireless networks, you can use your PC as an access point to share a network connection with other Wi-Fi clients. Another striking feature is the board’s four PCI Express x16 slots, offering an immense 32GB/sec of bandwidth.

But does that make it a sound investment? You can buy a standalone access point for £30, and we’ve yet to see a practical application for such a wide PCI Express bus. On the flipside, all this technology drives the M3A32-MVP’s idle power consumption up to 94W – the group’s highest. You can’t even cut that down by leaving out the graphics card, as the 790FX chipset has no onboard GPU.

To be fair, Asus makes a good fist of general connectivity. As with our recommended MSI board, the M3A32-MVP has six USB ports, eSATA and FireWire on the backplate, plus a bracket that adds two more USB connectors. Inside, there’s a comfortable six SATA channels and support for Socket AM3 processors.

But it lacks the conveniences we expect from a “Deluxe” board. There are no surface-mounted controls or displays, no snazzy BIOS features, and only limited RAID support (just RAID0, RAID1 and RAID10).

It seems the budget has been primarily focused on the board’s wireless and PCI Express capabilities, producing a costly specialist board that will sit awkwardly in most desktop computing roles.


Motherboard form factor ATX
Motherboard integrated graphics no


Processor/platform brand (manufacturer) AMD
Processor socket AM2+
Motherboard form factor ATX
Memory type DDR2
Multi-GPU support yes


Motherboard chipset AMD 790FX
South bridge AMD SB600
Number of Ethernet adapters 1
Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
Audio chipset ADI ADI1988B

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type 8-pin
Main power connector ATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total 4
Internal SATA connectors 6
Internal PATA connectors 1
Internal floppy connectors 1
Conventional PCI slots total 2
PCI-E x16 slots total 4
PCI-E x8 slots total 0
PCI-E x4 slots total 0
PCI-E x1 slots total 0

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors 1
USB ports (downstream) 6
FireWire ports 1
eSATA ports 1
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 1
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 1
3.5mm audio jacks 6
Parallel ports 0
9-pin serial ports 0
Extra port backplane bracket ports 0

Diagnostics and tweaking

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


SATA cables supplied 6
Molex to SATA adaters supplied 1
IDE cables supplied 1
Floppy cables supplied 1

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