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Asus P2-M3A3200 HTPC Review

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Closer Look:

With the drive cage removed, the southbridge, which was hidden behind, shows up bare naked, proving it's very low power consumption. This one, SB700, isn't quite the latest from AMD, only beaten by the high performance SB750. It's still an appropriate choice for such a board aimed at a market where performance isn't the main goal and it has plenty enough features to get the job well done. As you can see, it is a small chip - much smaller than a Canadian penny. The 780G northbridge, found hiding under a heatsink with a rather thick and sticky thermal paste, as you can still see from the picture. This little guy is quite impressive, it's barely larger than it's southern cousin, but it packs the fastest integrated graphic processing unit available on the market. At least until the latest nVidia chipset is benchmarked.








Under the processor's heatsink, Asus applied thermal paste very similar to what both AMD and Intel use on their own. However, it is slightly larger so cooling performance should be improved lightly or may be quieter. It is a pretty thick one and most likely gets the job done fine enough, although I replaced it with Arctic Cooling MX-2 paste. The heatsink itself has a copper core, but it's mostly made out of aluminum. Moving to the power supply, this one is a 200W unit made by Delta Electronics which rates it's efficiency at a mere 68%, hopefully it will be able to cope with the load done by our benchmark suite. The 12V rail gets just ten amps while the 3.3 and 5V are severely overkill, being able to supply, respectively, 14 and 21 amps.



Let's now take a look at the manufacturer's specifications.

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