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!
Bringing VR out of office and study spaces will serve to help it attract the new audiences it needs to continue growing
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 2 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Logitech try to reinvent the keyboard experience with Logitech CRAFT
- First AMD Ryzen Desktop APUs Featuring World’s Most Powerful Graphics on a Desktop Processor
- MSI AM4 Motherboards are now ready for new AMD 2nd Generation Ryzen Desktop Processors
- Intel Xeon D-2100 set to enable new capabilities for cloud, network and service providers
- Samsung Advances SATA Line-up with 860 PRO and 860 EVO Solid State Drives
PCW Evaluation Team
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.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- Sony a7R Mk III review: Full, in-depth review
- Which 2018 Smart Speaker Should I Buy
- 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
- FTSenior Change ManagerNSW
- FTSAP HCM Lead - ECS.111, SAP HR PA/OMOther
- FTJunior BA x 2Other
- TPEnterprise Architect | Services | QLD Health | $1173/dayQLD
- CCProject ManagerQLD
- FTBusiness Intelligence DeveloperNSW
- FTFrontend Developer - UX/UINSW
- TPICT Portfolio AnalystNSW
- FTDevelopment Expert (EL1)SA
- TPProject ManagerACT
- FT.NET MVC Developer- Angular JS v1.x, 2.x and 4.0Other
- FTSenior Java DeveloperQLD
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTIntegration SpecialistQLD
- FTSenior PM - Data AnalyticsOther
- FTTechnical Lead | .Net | FintechOther
- CCLinux DevOps Engineer - Cloud platformVIC
- FTSenior Change AnalystOther
- TPTest Analyst - AutomationQLD
- FTPMO ManagerNSW
- FTProject Officer / Project Scheduler - Gold Coast BasedOther
- FTDNS Security SpecialistOther
- FTHelpdesk Support OfficerOther