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Asus have given us another solid performing board with the M5A97 EVO. It has proven that it has the capabilities to run with some of the more expensive offerings that we’ve reviewed lately. This means that you have more choices and that’s always a good thing.
There are a few things that kind of annoyed me though. The fact that they decided to go with the older type of SATA ports on this board. I really didn’t expect that from Asus. It isn’t a huge factor but I still find it a bit annoying that they wouldn’t have use the side facing ports on this board. It falls under attention to detail as far as I see it. I really do hope that manufacturers stop using these things at some point. They don’t look good and they add to the cable clutter that impedes air-flow.
I would have also liked to see a Debug LED on this board. This is something that I think should just start coming standard. It makes troubleshooting so much easier. I hated having to listen to a series of beeps to figure out that a stick of ram wasn’t properly seated. The board I’m currently using has this feature and I guess I’m a bit spoiled by it. It’s a personal preference but I also think that it’s about time to see it incorporated on more boards regardless of the price or performance range.
To sum it up this board has actually surpassed my expectations. For a board to give this type of performance in its price range is pretty amazing. Asus have once again demonstrated why they dominate the motherboard market. They consistently produce products that surpass customer expectations. You really can’t do much better than that. This board has many features that make it an outstanding value when compared to similarly priced offerings. You also have the Asus name and their 3 year warranty to back it up. If you’re looking for a board that will be ready for AMD’s new line of processors but you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for it, then this is probably the board for you. Just keep in mind the few annoyances that you need to be aware of and you won’t be disappointed.