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ASUS M5A97-Evo AM3+

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by cadaveca, May 31, 2011.

  1. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
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  2. Wyverex

    Wyverex

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    Thank you for doing the review, but wouldn't it be more helpful if you tested a 770 or 870 based motherboard too, with the same Phenom CPU, to actually see the impact of the motherboard?
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  3. darkangel0504

    darkangel0504

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    Thanks! nice review :D
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  4. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Sure. Got a board to give me?;)

    Seriously though, don't let the numbers fool you. I used a 45nm CPU, while the Intel products use 32nm CPU. Not exactly a fair compare in that regard, so your point is definitely valid.

    But, take a look at the drive performance. Most of the other gains offered by this platform won't be realized until bulldozer hits the market.

    Take a look at the software, VRM, and BIOS. Not much else to say...those areas are the biggest change, other than the black socket.

    I'm just finishing up a 990X review, will be live soon, so it's not like this is the ONLY AM3+ board I'll be taking a look at. Over time a much better picture will be painted about the AM3+ platform.
  5. Over_Lord

    Over_Lord News Editor

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    dont see anything to complain since the price is just 109.99$

    I hope you'll put up the Llano review on 14th.
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  6. blue.dot

    blue.dot New Member

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    Very nice review, good reading! Thanks!
    Btw, I'm planning to buy Phenom II 955 with M5A97 PRO. From what I read from ASUS site, the difference between EVO and PRO is only in lack of some switches, which I don't need, and few other things.
    So I'm assuming, that PRO is nearly same as EVO, only in lack of few things and less richer equipment?
    Thanks for reply
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  7. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Given that pricing, and the tonne of features, I really am left impressed by the M5A97 EVO, as the score reflects. The Digi+ VRM design is pretty awesome for an entry-level board, and the BIOS and software match it pretty well.

    I do not have Llano-based products yet, but I'll be sure to be asking. Unless some miracle happens, and they show up at my door tomorrow. I am expecting some new products to be delivered today, but I doubt that what it is.

    Postal Strike going on...no local mail service here. Thank god for couriers!

    I do not have the PRO board, so unfortunately I cannot answer that question. This EVO board, @ just a bit over $100, is perfect for singlecard users that want a fairly decent overclock, but don't want to break the bank, so perhaps you might want to consider the M5A97 EVO, first. Plus, because I have the board, I can definitely help out when it comes time for setup and OC.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
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  8. blue.dot

    blue.dot New Member

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    I'll see when it will hit market at my place. If there will be small difference in price, I'll go for EVO.
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  9. Chaitanya

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    I really didn't understand the 1st cons mentioned, this board does have a front panel usb 3.0 header.
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  10. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    A header, yes, but nothing that allows use of that header without buying a new case, or a plug panel, of which there are very few available. Perhaps the wrong choice of words, my bad; I updated that to reflect what I really meant.
    :toast:
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  11. Halk New Member

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    I enjoyed reading the review - you've looked at some things other reviews miss, and it doesn't read like an advert.

    However because you had gone in to so much depth I had my fingers crossed you would go into depth on the Fan Xpert software. What frustrates me with my Crosshair IV Formula is the software is great for the CPU fan, and allows me to control all of the chassis fans at once, but it doesn't offer any control over the other fans.. and BIOS isn't any better.

    I'd dearly like reviews of the new 9 series chipsets to mention in detail how much control over fan speeds exists. I must not be the only person who wants a nice quiet PC when I'm not gaming.
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  12. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Ah, yes, Fan Xpert. Well, it's just the same here, with the CASE_FAN headers all controlled together, and the CPU separate. The PWR fan is not adjustable at all.

    I did make note of what fan options were available in the screenshots of my next ASUS M5A-series board, which will be coming up shortly. However, I can simply say that the fan control offered is just the same.

    I thought that the Crosshair series allowed for individual fan control in BIOS? I have not run one since the CrossHair III though, so I might not be fully up to date on that.

    Also, I do beleive the Sabertooth boards offer individual fan control for each header, as part of the "Thermal Radar" stuff, but I haven't received my sample of those two upper-end boards just yet. I do hope to take on both the Sabertooth and the Crosshair V boards in the upcoming weeks, so hopefully I'll have more info on your specific question in the near future.

    Thanks for the feedback, too...:toast:
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  13. Halk New Member

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    That's a bit of bad news :/

    The Crosshair IV Forumula does allow control over the PWR and AUX1-3 fans in BIOS. However it just allows a duty cycle (no lower than 40%) and doesn't allow them to be "smart" in any way.

    I have a CPU fan, PWM, which works well. I have 3 140mm case fans and 2 120mm case fans, so I'd like them controlled a little bit smarter.. what's good for the 140s isn't good for the 120s, so I had hoped the newer Asus boards would make the cut there... but no improvements, sadly.

    I am hopeful of the Sabertooth, of the two premium boards that one appeals to me the most. However this board here would also do what I want, as I don't overclock much these days and just run a single 580. I can't see any real benefit in the 990fx chipset over it.

    Again though thanks for a good review!
  14. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    llano is athlon II class lower end processors, uses a different socket, too. interesting for notebook and htpc, not for high-performance desktop
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  15. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    That's more than I knew.:laugh:
  16. Halk New Member

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    I've had a look at Sabertooth reviews elsewhere, and seen some BIOS screenshots that make it look like there's not much extra control over the standard boards. It makes this board look to be the right choice - there's £100 of a difference at OcUk who now seem to have a fair bunch of AM3+ listed

    Twice the price seems to deliver add-ons I'd never use, and PCI-E lanes for Crossfire or SLI that again I'm not going to use. It'd be the first time in years I've bought anything but the most expensive.. but I'm starting to notice that the boards don't seem much different really.
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  17. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    You'll have to keep reading my reviews to see the differences. ;)
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  18. Halk New Member

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    Indeed! They don't seem to be in stock in the UK, so I'll hang off. There is one more board that OcUk and Asus don't have listed. It appears to be the very bottom end of the range, the M5A79. Not Pro and not Evo. The spec sheet I've seen seems to show it doesn't have eSata. And that's one thing I do actually use.
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  19. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    That vrm contact is a nice improvement.
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  20. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    That's also a side-effect of socket design, I think. Almost every Intel board I have tested has had a good warp in the VRM area, so I gotta put blame there. Perhaps OEMs could use better materials in some instances, for sure.

    You also need to consider the differences in tolerances. on the AMD platform, I can pull 300W thorugh the 8-pin, no problem. On Intel, at least currently, 200W is a hard number to hit, and I doubt few have.

    Intel VRMs have more phases, so the load is spread out more, too, lowering individual component temps, too.

    Of course, it remains to be seen how these boards react with the new AMD CPUs, so I think I might have to revisit these boards in the future.
  21. Halk New Member

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    If you do continue to review the 9xx series Asus boards, then you might want to create a separate review at the end to explain what each step up the path gets consumers - or something to the same effect when you review the last of them. When I read reviews of products I'm trying to find out what the difference between the different rungs on the ladder are, and it can be quite difficult trying to compare reviews to see the difference. Manufacturers do usually produce some kind of spec sheet, such as the one I linked up above but they quite often translate the actual specs into marketing speak.
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  22. filip007

    filip007 New Member

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    What was Intel CPU, if you compared with P55, P67, it's honest question nothing else?
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  23. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    P55 was I7 870, P67 with 2600K, AM3+ with 1100T. I used the fastest CPU available for each socket.
  24. Over_Lord

    Over_Lord News Editor

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  25. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    I think i can provide more info than the spec sheet does. I mean, I could probably give a full rundown of obvious differences between all of the ASUS 9-series boards, but I think my testing can provide a bit more pertinent info than is on any specsheet alone.

    Specsheets don't cover CPU VRM power usage, OC potential, etc...but those are also things I need the boards in my hands to find out, so until I get them all, I cannot make those compares.

    I do compare the two M5A boards I have, partly, in the next review that comes up. W1zz takes care of editor duties for my reviews, but also has his own work to do, so it might be a few days or so before it goes live, but my end on the next review is done. W1zz has been pretty busy with Computex and stuff, and I've barely had the board for two weeks, but please do keep an eye on the front page for the next review for more of the info your are looking for.

    I do motherboard reviews, not CPU reviews, so if this is an "embedded" platform, I'm not likely to play with it much.

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