Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe WiFi-AP review

£117138
Price when reviewed

Although AMD doesn’t currently hold the performance aces, if you’re a die-hard AMD supporter you’ll want the best motherboard to go with your spangly new Phenom processor. And the M3A32 is one of the most fully featured we’ve seen. There’s on-board 802.11bg wireless networking and HD audio with eight-channel surround sound. The backplane is crammed with ports and connectors, offering a full six USB ports.

Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe WiFi-AP review

You get a full range of analogue and digital audio connectors plus a total of six SATA ports for connecting internal hard disks. And on the subject of SATA, the backplane features one of the increasingly popular eSATA connectors: invaluable for connecting an external hard disk at top speed.

With its AM2+ socket, the Asus is fully compatible with the Phenom range of quad-core CPUs, but also with socket AM2 CPUs like the older Athlon 64 X2 range. And as it features AMD’s 790FX chipset, it can support up to four Radeon HD 3-series graphics cards to give four CPU cores and four GPUs, qualifying it as an official AMD Spider platform.

It’s no secret that the Phenom range trails the top-end Intel CPU offerings in terms of speed, so if you want to narrow the gap the M3A32 offers a complete range of overclocking options, allowing you to up the frequency of the processor and tweak voltages to compensate and keep the system stable.

There are few other motherboards out there that offer such a comprehensive set of features as the Asus. The downside is the price, but if you must have the best possible Phenom system with multiple graphics cards or you just want a very good motherboard for an Athlon 64 X2 PC, the M3A32 is the board to buy.

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