ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review :: Conclusion

02-28-2007 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

ASUS M2A-VM Motherboard - AMD 690 Chipset Review

From a gamers point of view the AMD RADEON 1250 is the best available integrated graphics chipset on the market bar none. Modern games like Oblivion, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, Prey, and Star Trek Legacy are practically unplayable on the integrated graphics as the games require a lot of horsepower to play them well. The modern game requires an add-on card like the X1950 Pro at least to really enjoy them to the fullest. It's not that you can't play those games on AMD's new chipset, it's to really enjoy the games you need a better card.

From a business owner's point of view the ASUS M2A-VM and the AMD 690 chipset are excellent choices. After all, the board will retail for under $100 (around $80 is my guess), meaning that pairing the ASUS M2A-VM with a 5000+ or 5200+ (295 or 309) will be less expensive offering more performance than a combination of the E6400+965 chipset $334 (current pricing off Newegg.)

With the release of Microsoft's Vista Operating System and DX10 hardware like the 8800GTX and the upcoming R600, the next major inflection point in graphics technology is Shader Model 4. It is likely that games requiring the new SM will hit late this year or next, and I hope ATI and or NVIDIA step up to the plate with integrated graphics in the near future that support the new standard. Part of the Vista OS is the new Aero GUI, which requires Pixel Shader 2.0 hardware to function properly. The RADEON 1250 handles the Aero GUI without difficulty. ASUS's M2A-VM motherboard is the first example of the AMD 690 chipset to hit our test bench. The board is a mini-ATX board that sports most of the features you would expect from a modern board. System level performance on the M2A-VM board is excellent with only the anomaly of 3DMark05 scoring a little lower than other boards of the similar generation.