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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 3 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 4 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Radeon Vega Frontier Edition: Benchmarks and behind-the-scenes AMD interview
- Hands-on: AMD's Radeon Vega Frontier Edition vs Nvidia Titan Xp
- What the Radeon Vega Frontier Edition's specs and pricing mean for PC gamers
- AMD Threadripper exclusive: Only Alienware's Area-51 will have it in 2017
- Intel's revealed the Core i9 ship dates, but you won't like them
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- Ring Video Doorbell review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTChange AnalystOther
- FT.Net DeveloperQLD
- CCTechnical Product OwnerQLD
- CCHelpdesk Support - L2VIC
- FTIT Support EngineerNSW
- FTFull Stack DeveloperNSW
- CCData ArchitectNSW
- TPAgile Senior Business AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Operations Support OfficerACT
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTBusiness Systems AnalystOther
- FTIT Support AnalystNSW
- CCStrong C++ Developer Needed to Join a Great Environment and Team!NSW
- FTBusiness AnalystSA
- FTSenior Software Engineer | Data Feeds | SaaS FintechOther
- FTChief Information OfficerQLD
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst (Maximo)NSW
- FTSenior Front End DevelopersOther
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTCommunications & Change AnalystOther
- TPAnalyst Program SupportVIC
- FTSolution ConsultantVIC