I don't have any experience with the Asus board, however here are some things that make this unique and worthwhile.
780M has lower power, therefore easier to cool
This board has 128MB dedicated sideport memory for improved BD and video playback and 3D Processing. This is not found on too many IGP boards.
This board has D2Audio's DAE-3 DSP for outstanding audio performance. Way better audio than traditional PC codecs. True AVR class audio performance.
Audio specs (5 channel amp card or 7 channel pre amp card Note: Sub output is on mobo for the .1 in 5.1 or 7.1)
5.1 Amp card
SNR (Signal to Noise)= >105dB
THD + N (total harmonic distortion + Noise) = <0.1%
7.1 Pre Amp Card
SNR = >112dB
THD+N = 0.01%
Compare those to your favorite amps from Onkyo, Denon, Pioneer, HK, etc. You will find these specs are on par with most mainstream AVRs up to about $1K
Unique back panel I/O. Board was designed for HTPC, no 3.5mm audio jacks. No PS2 keyboard/mouse, no serial or parallell ports...just lot's of AV centric connections for easier hook up to TV and audio devices.
As for the amp card, again, I can tell you personally that this thing sounds AMAZING. I have personally built over 100 of these systems now and have the amp version in my own home.
I would stack it up against mainstream AVRs up to 1K in price, no problem. It may not have the same, super high wattage output, but you don't need it because it is class D, 93% efficient. This means 93% of the power coming into the card, goes out to the speakers.
Audio is crisp, clear and has plenty of punch to drive my theater room. I am connected to Infinity Primus speakers in front and Difinitive Pro Studio's for surrounds along with a 10" Polk sub. I can crank it up and hear it clearly in any room in my house.
It is more pricey than other 780 boards, but the audio you are getting with it is beyond what you can get out of other boards.
Last edited by Java Jack; Dec 1, 2008 at 03:13 AM.