The ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO motherboard is an AMD 785G
platform built with Home Theatre PC and High Definition media applications in
mind. Key to its allure are a trifecta of video outputs - HDMI,
VGA and DVI - powered by the integrated graphics AMD Radeon HD 4200 graphics
card and 128MB of onboard SidePort memory.
As a socket AM3
motherboard go, the ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO accommodates AMD's Phenom II and Athlon
II processors alike, and can be installed with up to 4GB of
DDR3-1066/1333 memory. When overclocked, memory can run as fast as DDR3-1600/1800. Storage on the
ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO is handled by the AMD SB710 southbridge, which has a solid history. The AMD SB710 has support for five serial ATA 3Gb/s connectors that support RAID 0, 1,
0+1 and JBOD connections, an eSATA 3Gb/s port, and a legacy IDE
connector. The board has a pair of PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (with x16/x4 bandwidth, respectively), a single
PCI Express x1 slot, and three standard PCI slots.
On the I/O panel of the ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO you'll find six USB 2.0 connectors (with six more
USB 2.0 ports available through internal headers), the aforementioned eSATA
3Gb/s port and HDMI, DVI and VGA ports, as well as a 1394a firewire part, an
optical S/PDIF port, 8-channel stereo output, and of course a RJ45 LAN port and a
PS/2 keyboard and mouse combo port.
The heart of the ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO is however the AMD 785G graphics controller, the
Radeon HD 4200 GPU. This is what makes almost every AMD 785G mothberboard such
a darling of users with High Definition 1080i twinkling in their eyes.
With all of these graphics capabilities, the ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO is positioned as
a good candidate for an inexpensive HTPC box or everyday work PC for that matter. ASUS' M4A785TD EVO is priced around
($90 USD, £55 GBP)
ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO
INCLUDES: Manual, Driver CD, (4) SATA cables, IDE cable,
Q-Connector, I/O shield.
Chipsets: AMD 785G / AMD
CPU Support: AMD socket
Memory Type: Dual Channel
Support: (2) PCI Express x16 2.0 (x16,
Integrated Graphics: Yes (HDMI,
Key to the success of virtually al AMD
785G motherboards on the market is of course the integrated graphics processor,
a slight upgrade from the Radeon HD 3200 equipped 780G. The
abilities of the Radeon HD 4200 have been enhanced with support for DirectX 10.1 and
Shader Model 4.1, as well as expanded compatibility of ATI Stream. ATI Stream uses graphics
hardware to accelerate certain desktop applications. The ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO supports HDMI 1.3, which increases
overall bandwidth and colour depth support.
The guts of
the Radeon HD 4200 IGP include
40 stream processors that run at a core clock of 500MHz. The M4A785TD-V EVO
complements this with Sideport memory, 128MB of DDR3-1333 tacked onto the
board just off side. The memory acts exclusively for the graphics subsystem.
ASUS has enabled IGP overclocking on the M4A785TD-V EVO,
which means it might be possible to push this humble integrated motherboard
quite a bit further than a regular IGP. PCSTATS will test ASUS' GPU NOS overclocking a little later on in this review, as well see
how far a Phenom II processor can overclocking on this ASUS platform.
Let's take an in-depth
look at ASUS' M4A785TD-V EVO motherboard, and in particular AMDs 785 chipset.
AMD 785G / SB710
The AMD 785G chipset brings support for DirectX 10.1, Windows 7
compatibility, and hardware-acceleration for certain kinds of video transcoding
and graphics-intensive applications to the world of IGPs. It's an all-around
incremental improvement to the AMD 780G chipset that's been the darling of the
IGP world. The AMD 785G chipset
also continues AMD's strategy of having cross-compatiblity support for a huge range of
processors depending on the board implementation. In this review, Socket AM3 processors and DDR3 memory
are the only, and best future-proof options.
The centerpiece of the AMD 785 chipset is the Radeon
HD 4200 IGP. This graphics core is very similar to the Radeon
HD 3200 that powered the AMD 780G. Both IGPs are built on a 55nm
process, have 40 stream processors, and consist of approx. 205 million transistors.
of the Radeon HD 4200 IGP is largely similar to AMD's previous IGPs, with
the key changes being support for DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1.
Should you want to use
a stand alone videocard the AMD 785G chipset supports a PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot, and
can be used in Hybrid Crossfire mode with selected ATI Radeon graphics cards
such as the Radeon HD 3450. Realistcally speaking, the IGP's 3D performance isn't
comparable to the power of a dedicated graphics card in Hybrid Crossfire,
so don't waste your money attempting it.
memory is optional, so availability depends on the motherboard manufacturer.
The ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO that PCSTATS is reviewing today
has 128MB of DDR 1333 sideport memory, which should give it a slight edge in 3D
graphics benchmarks. You'll see what we mean right after the jump...
High Definition Video Output & ATI
Further improvements include new hardware-accelerated transcoding
support for selected video applications. ATI Stream lets the Radeon
HD 4200 GPU accelerate media encoding, which can result in dramatic performance improvements when
compared to CPU transcoding speeds.
Unified Video Decoding is also here, and also uses the GPU to decode video,
reducing load on the CPU....