Brought to you by Norton Symantec
ASUS M2A-HV HDMI
- HDMI, quiet operator, good expansion options
- Integrated graphics may impede overall system performance
The ASUS M2A-VM HDMI has a good combination of new and old connectivity options and is perfect as a foundation for a media centre PC.
Price$ 129.00 (AUD)
It's been a while since we've reviewed a new AMD motherboard. The ASUS M2A-VM HDMI is slightly different from the norm as it's aimed at those of you who want to build a compact media centre PC.
The standout features of this board are its integrated design, silent operation and advanced connections. It's among the first boards we've seen to ship with an HDCP-compliant HDMI port, which is supplied on a full-height PCIe x16-sized expansion module. This module also has S-Video and composite connections while the rear port cluster of the board has DVI and VGA. These connections make it a desirable board for a media centre PC, and ASUS' Q-Fan technology helps keep the CPU fan quiet. If a graphics card isn't installed, then a PC based on this board will be virtually silent.
The board uses an AMD 690G chipset, which has integrated graphics, and its AM2 CPU slot can accommodate anything from a Sempron 64 to an Athlon 64 FX. Its dimensions are a paltry 24x23cm so it's a good candidate for a mini-tower case.
Due to the board being small, it's easy to install. We love the Q-Connector that ASUS has pioneered, which lets you attach all case switches and light connections to a small block, which can then be easily lined up and plugged into the motherboard. It means you don't have to squint to read the labels on the motherboard's pin-header (and on this board you really do have to squint) nor do you have to fiddle with cables inside the case.
While the board is small, it does have above-average expansion facilities: it has four memory slots, one PCIe x16, one PCIe x1, two PCI slots and four SATA ports. It can be built up to be quite powerful, depending on the CPU and the amount of memory you use. We tested it with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ CPU (2.6GHz), 1GB of DD2 800 RAM, and a 150GB Western Digital Raptor hard drive using Windows Vista.
We didn't run into any problems installing the motherboard using the Vista drivers supplied to us by ASUS. All of the motherboard's components were installed correctly, including its integrated ATI X1250 graphics chip, high definition Realtek ALC883 audio and gigabit Ethernet controller.
Running our WorldBench 6 benchmark program, the board racked up a score of 77, which isn't too crash-hot when compared to what Core 2 Duo-equipped CPUs can do. However, an Athlon 64 X2 5000+ will provide sufficient grunt for a media-centre PC. Individual application scores within WorldBench 6 showed it to be just over one minute slower when encoding video files: the Windows Media Encoder test was completed in 271sec, compared to 204sec for a similarly clocked Intel Core 2 Duo E6700-based machine with a discrete graphics card installed. For playing games, the integrated graphics aren't adequate -- 3DMark06 returned a low score of 284.
This board has a good combination of new and old connectivity options and is perfect as a foundation for a media centre PC. Its integrated graphics are powerful enough to run Windows Vista with the Aero interface enabled, but overall system performance does take a hit.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Nokia 7 Plus review: Predictable and plus-sized
- 2 Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
- 3 Nokia 8 Sirocco review: A unique flagship that's more of a mutation than a market-leader
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Peak performance from a home entertainment heavyweight
Latest News Articles
- Intel CEO resigns after probe of relationship with employee
- Computex 2018: G.Skill draw eyes with new 'Crystal-RGB' RAM and new gaming gear
- Computex 2018: CoolerMaster have new a mouse that can count your kills
- Computex 2018: HyperX add RGB to Alloy FPS Pro keyboard and Pulsefire Pro gaming mouse
- Computex 2018: Roccat put their Titan switches to the test with new Vulcan keyboard
PCW Evaluation Team
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
- Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
- Computex 2018: Nvidia launches new AI-focused hardware and software platforms
- Computex 2018: Everything you missed at Asia's biggest tech tradeshow
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?