Both games were choppy in a spot or two, but definitely playable. I tried Far Cry 2 again at low settings, which added only a couple of FPS and not much change. I did not bother loading Crysis on the rig for obvious reasons. My Phenom II X3 720 didn’t do a bad job with these games, I would expect any of the Phenom II X4s to add at least a few FPS if not more, and either of the Phenom II X6 Thubans to do even more.
I have to admit that it was a little disappointing to review this board without one of the Thuban X6s, considering they are the main reason for the release of new AM3 motherboards. Just look at it like whatever the X3 can do here, the X6 will do much, much better.
But gaming isn’t the forte of the M4A89GTD Pro/USB 3. Add a gaming video card and you will do just fine, but if gaming isn’t your thing this board with just the integrated graphics will save you a few hundred bucks and do it all for you to boot. An HDMI output will allow you to connect directly to an HDTV and the ATI graphics allows for HD Audio via HDMI without having to connect an S/PDIF cable. Throw in a Blu-Ray drive and you’ve got an instant HTPC, it is just waiting for your HD content.
Of course being an Asus motherboard, it is packed with feature after feature. Asus’ Hybrid features, TurboV, Core Unlocker, and Turbo Key 2, are just a few of the Asus unique features found here. The BIOS is very overclock conducive, all settings in one menu, and the precision voltage increments will be appreciated by any serious overclocker.
And with this board you are all set up for USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s.
With Core Unlocker I wasn’t able to unlock the locked core on my X3, but keep in mind that not all cores will be able to unlock.
The M4A89GTD Pro/USB 3 sells for $145 at my favorite online retailer. As I said earlier, the GX boards are marketed more as economy boards, and that is in economy range for a board with these features. ThinkComputers gives the ASUS M4A89GTD Pro/USB3 AMD 890GX Socket AM3 Motherboard a 9 out of 10 score.
– Ready for X6 processors, USB 3.0, and SATA 6Gb/s
– Reasonably priced
– Interesting features
– People buying this board specifically for Core Unlocker will likely be disappointed
– Though improved, integrated graphics still will not give gaming satisfaction in most cases
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