ASUS M3N78 Pro Motherboard Review :: ASUS M3N78 Pro Features

10-06-2008 · Category: Motherboards

By Ben Sun
  • ASUS Express Gate
  • ASUS Q-Shield
  • HDMI/DVI/RGB Support
  • 4+1 Phase Power Design
  • AI Gear 2
  • AI Nap
  • Q-Fan 2
  • EZ-Flash 2
  • Noise Filter
  • All high quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors
  • MyLogo2
  • GreenASUS
  • AMD AM2+/AM2 Platform
  • Dual Channel DDR2-1066/800/667/533

ASUS M3N78 Pro Spec Sheet
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Motherboard Photo
Part NumberM3N78 Pro
Price CheckFind Best Price
ChipsetNvidia GeForce 8300
North BridgeNvidia GeForce 8300
Processor TypesAM2+ / AM2 / Phenom / Athlon 64 FX / Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core / Athlon 6
Number of CPUs1
Front Side Bus1066/800/667/533/400
Memory TypeDDR2
Memory ChannelsDual
Maximum Memory8GB
External GraphicsPCI Express x16
IGP GeForce 8300
South BridgeNvidia GeForce 8300
SATA3.0 GB/s
RAID0, 1, 0+1, 5
Expansion Slots
Form FactorATX
Motherboard Photo

The ASUS M3N78 Pro motherboard has a 4+1 Phase Power Design. This allows the motherboard to have longer life and higher efficiency with independent power to core components and providing fast transient response and stability for the CPU under overclocking modes. AI Gear 2 allows you to choose from profiles to adjust CPU frequency and vCore voltage, minimizing system noise and saving CPU power consumption at most. Changing the mode under Vista is a simple matter of running the AI Gear app and choosing which setting to run it at. On the M3N78 Pro I was able to run in Cruise mode stably.

ASUS M3N78 Pro Motherboard Review ASUS M3N78 Pro logo

ASUS M3N78 Pro logo

The M3N78 Pro has support for HDMI, DVI or VGA monitor output on the IO area via the GeForce 8300 integrated graphics. The board only comes with an HDMI port on the back panel IO but a bracket with a VGA port is included to allow the insertion of a CRT monitor if needed. I would have preferred that ASUS had included it on the IO, but it is an acceptable compromise. ASUS is one of the first motherboard manufacturers to include a complete Operating System right out of the box in the Express Gate technology. Express Gate requires a disk of some sort, either a SATA drive set to IDE mode or a USB Flash drive. Setup of InstallGate is through Window driver CD that comes with the motherboard.

Express Gate allows you to use online-based email, digital music stored on the hard drive, browse through photos on the computer, chat via IM or Skype and browse the Internet through Firefox 2 without booting into Windows. One good use for Express Gate is if Windows is unable to boot for some reason you can boot without it. Some of the ASUS motherboards have a built in Flash drive that has the Express Gate built in already but the M3N78 Pro does not.

The Asus Q-Shield is their trademark name for their IO Shield. Some motherboards from other companies come with a IO Shield that has sharp edges and cutouts that need to be pushed out to use properly. The Asus Q-Shield pushes directly into the IO area and has better electric conductivity preventing static electricity from reaching the motherboard and shielding it against Electronic Magnetic Interference (EMI).