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ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard Review - ThinkComputers.org

Motherboards

ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard

Product: ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard
Date: October 12, 2009
Author: Frank Stroupe
Edited By: Jack Wager
Provided By: ASRock
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Discussion: Discuss in Forums

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The BIOS

The ASRock M3A785GMH/128M uses the American Megatrends BIOS, a tabbed BIOS for easy navigation. Though the BIOS is basically the same on all motherboards, each has different settings, and some are totally different.

The BIOS opens to the Main menu, which has date/time settings, BIOS version. As I usually do, I updated the BIOS not long after getting the rig up and running, ASRock makes it easy, just download the package which includes the BIOS and the relevant version of AFUWIN, allowing updating of the BIOS in the Windows environment. ASRock's download servers are always fast, which is always nice. I can't say the same for some other motherboard manufacturers.

ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard

Next we come to the OC Tweaker menu. All relevant overclock settings are on this menu, which is always nice. This may be the best put together BIOS I've seen on an ASRock motherboard, and among the best I've seen on any motherboard. The only thing missing is a real-time display of CPU clock speed, which usually isn't included on economy motherboard BIOS, and never on an ASRock BIOS.

At the top of the OC Tweaker menu are two settings titled EZ Overclocking, "Load Optimized CPU OC Settings", and "Load Optimized GPU OC Settings". More on this in a minute. Looking down the menu we find all overclock settings, either always visible or in a dropdown. Any and all overclocking can be done here.

ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard

Next is the Advanced menu, which is broken down into several submenus. Most of the remainder of the motherboard's settings are found in these submenus.

The CPU Configuration submenu has a few extra settings that aren't found in the OC Tweaker menu. Boot Failure Guard is ASRock's excellent no crash BIOS, and you can disable it here, but I don't recommend doing that. B.F.G. is the best CCMOS free BIOS I've found, the only time you might possibly need to clear the CMOS is if your memory timings are too tight, but even then not always. AMD Cool `n' Quiet is AMD's energy saving utility where the CPU drops to a lower clock state when idle. I'd disable this when benchmarking, there are some benchmarks that won't bring the CPU back to full clock speed.

ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard

The Chipset Configuration submenu contains audio and video settings. "Surround View" and "Onboard HDMI HD Audio" require use of an ATI video card in conjunction with the integrated graphics.

H/W Monitor shows relevant temperatures, fan speeds, and voltages. You also enable/disable CPU Quiet Fan, the default is disabled.

ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard

The Boot menu contains the Boot Configuration submenu and the Boot Device order.

The Boot Configuration submenu mainly allows for disabling the splash screen, which I hate.

ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AMD 785G AM3 mATX Motherboard

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