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Asus M3N78 Pro review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £90
inc VAT


AM2+, ATX, Nvidia GeForce 8300 chipset, supports: Sempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II

Asus’s M3N78 Pro motherboard looks sparse next to the feature-packed boards from MSI and Foxconn, but it’s also around £30 cheaper than MSI’s DKA790GX Platinum.

Like other AM2+ motherboards, it supports the backwards-compatible Phenom II processor and did remarkably well in our tests, although it performed disappointingly in the important Overall test.

It’s the only motherboard here without an AMD chipset. Instead, it uses an Nvidia GeForce 8300 chipset, complete with integrated graphics. It has only a single HDMI video output, although it comes with a slightly unwieldy HDMI-to-DVI converter cable and a VGA header bracket. The minimalist approach to video ports is reflected in the layout of the rest of the board, which gives you plenty of uncluttered space to build in.

There’s also a single PCI Express x16 slot, so you can add a dedicated graphics card if you’re interested in gaming. The positioning of the slot could also restrict access to some of the six SATA connectors if you buy a long or bulky graphics card.

This is the only motherboard in the group that can handle 16GB of RAM, although you’re unlikely to need that much in the foreseeable future. With recent sharp increases in the price of computer hardware, the M3N78 Pro isn’t as cheap as it was earlier in the year, but it’s still an excellent motherboard at a fair price. If you are looking to build a decent computer on a reasonable budget then the M3N78 Pro is a great choice.

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor socket AM2+
Form factor ATX
Size 305x244mm
Processor support Sempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II
Processor external bus 266MHz (1,066MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridge Nvidia GeForce 8300
Chipset south bridge N/A
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics Yes
Supported memory type DDR2 667/800/1066
Maximum memory speed PC2-8500
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 16GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £90

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 1
Dual graphics architecture none
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 2
PCI slots 2
Fan headers 3
Floppy ports 1
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 6
RAID chipset (max disks) Nvidia GeForce 8300 (6x SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, JBOD)


Wired network ports 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC1200 (coaxial S/PDIF, 6x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers 6/6
Firewire ports / headers 1/1
Legacy ports 1x PS/2, serial header
Other ports HDMI
Cables included 2x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x floppy, 2x Molex to SATA power, 1x HDMI to DVI
Brackets included 1x VGA
Software included none

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 600MHz

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