Asus M4A89TD Pro motherboard review

Manufacturer: Asus
UK Price (as Reviewed): £160.85 (Inc. VAT)
US Price (as Reviewed): $179.99 (ex. Tax)

Asus' latest 890FX M4A89TD Pro is not to be confused with the M4A89GTD Pro, that used the 890GX chipset. Anyone would have thought that Asus was paying by the letter.

Still, confusing names aside, the M4A89TD Pro is Asus' budget option for those who want an 890FX motherboard. Gone is that expensive NEC USB 3 chipset and several dozen SATA ports - the M4A89TD Pro is paired down to the bare minimum. But honestly though, that's not a complaint and would you miss such features? We doubt it. The 890FX, SB850 and Asus' own breed of integrated gizmos are enough to satisfy many of us, although the most endowed technophiles will want to check out the /USB 3 option and the Crosshair IV Formula.

*Asus M4A89TD Pro motherboard review Asus M4A89TD Pro motherboard reviewClick to enlarge

Asus M4A89TD Pro Features

  • Support for Socket AM3 CPUs including Phenom II, and Athlon II series.
  • AMD 890FX chipset
  • AMD SB850 Southbridge
  • Four 240-pin DDR3 memory slots supporting 1,066 and 1,333MHz DIMMs, with 1,600-2,133MHz overclocking support for up to 16GB in total
  • Two 16x PCI-Express 2.0 slots (x16/x16) with ATI CrossFire-X technology support
  • One 4x PCI-Express 2.0 slot
  • One 1x PCI-Express 2.0 slot
  • Two PCI slots
  • Realtek ALC892 7.1 channel high-definition audio codec, as well as coaxial and optical S/PDIF outputs
  • Two Realtek RTL8111E PCI-Express Gigabit LAN
  • Six SATA 6Gbps ports from SB850 supporting RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5 and JBOD
  • One SATA 3Gbps ports and one IDE port from JMicron JMB361
  • VIA VT6315N chipset supporting two IEEE1394a Firewire ports (one rear I/O, one via pin-out)
  • 14 USB 2 ports (eight rear I/O, six pin-outs)
*Asus M4A89TD Pro motherboard review Asus M4A89TD Pro motherboard review *Asus M4A89TD Pro motherboard review Asus M4A89TD Pro motherboard review Click to enlarge

Surprisingly despite looking normal, the layout is littered with issues: for starters take a look at the SATA ports. Really, Asus? You couldn't shift up or even drop the IDE port to make way for some right angled SATA ports? Even a couple would be nice, but instead a capacitor and an IC get edge priority. Thankfully there's no floppy port this time around though.

The PCI-Express hardware seems limited compared to other boards sporting at least four slots, however the standard two with a two space gap makes for more ideal CrossFire arrangements, while still offering peripheral slots for PCI and PCI-E cards. The 4x PCI-E slot is disappointing however because it means longer cards can't be used and even cutting open the end won't do because Asus decided to put the CMOS battery in the way. Great forward thinking there.
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