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69 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2012
If you are looking for a great bang for your buck, I highly recommend this board. I recently "refreshed" my computer because of a motherboard failure (Gigabyte.. you let me down). I popped in an FX-8320 and 8 GB of Corsair Vengeance ram. Here is the link to the ram I used that works flawlessly with the board: (Corsair Vengeance 8 GB ( 2 x 4 GB ) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit for Core i3, i5, i7 and Platforms SDRAM CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 Just manually change Bios settings to "1600 MHz" and it automatically does the rest without worrying.

I was worried about the board not booting because of the new FX-8320 processor. My bios was the older one that did not "support" the newer processor. However, the board booted and recognized the CPU on the first try. Not wanting to tempt fate, I loaded the newest bios drivers from Asus onto a USB flash drive and flashed the bios. The bios is very easy to navigate and you can use a mouse in it. The bios flash was painless and I was off and running. I loaded Win 7 onto it, and since I had previously had Win 7 on my Intel 330 SSD I tried to install it after formatting it through the Win 7 installation processor. Win 7 kept giving me an EFI error (something about my HD being formatted improperly for EFI). I almost decided to throw the CPU away at that point, but a quick look at the Bios settings, I turned off "Secure Boot" (I believe this is a Win 8 mandatory thing). After turning off Secure Boot everything went flawlessly. The only funny thing was Win 7 didn't automatically install drivers for the onboard NIC and I had to install the drivers which is the first time in many builds that has ever happened to me.

Using this board for about 2 weeks now I cannot say enough good things about it. Absolutely rock solid, no issues or hangups. Motherboard runs cold for me and has enough goodies that I am impressed. I'd used Gigabyte for a few builds and after it failed I decided to change up to Asus. I'm very pleased with this board and if it holds up I'll always purchase Asus boards from now on.

Side note, on my USB Logitech G35's I was plagued with the awful popping when playing music and was pulling my hair out trying to stop it on my previous Gigabyte board (I think it was a 770 version). I tried everything and just decided to get used to it. With this new board there is absolutely no popping whatsoever so a nice surprise there!

Full specs:
M5A97 R2.0 AM3+ board
8 GB Corsair Vengeance 1600 DDR3
Corsair TX-650
Sapphire Vapor-X HD-5770 (Just ordered a Sapphire HD-7870, so hopefully it works just as good!)
Intel 330 SSD 128 GB
Toshiba DVD burner
3 Western Digital 500 GB HDs

**UPDATE 12/2/2013**

This motherboard has been absolutely great for me and I've been very pleased with it. I upgraded my CPU cooler from the Coolermaster Hyper 212+ to the Corsair H80 and worked around my cooling situation in my Antec 300 case with some great new fans including an Antec Spot fan directly onto my socket/VRM area. I've sort of reached a point where I can no longer increase my overclock because the motherboard(and my CPU) aren't allowing me to go any higher. Even with great thermals, I worry a little pushing this board really hard. Don't let that discourage you though, this is arguably one of the best "budget" motherboard's I've ever had.

Since I've had a difficult time finding settings that work for OC'ing on this motherboard, I'll lay a few out to give anyone who is interested a starting point. I've seen people say this board will crash, burn, and melt when OC'ing so I'll sort of dispel that here.

**(Obviously, overclocking your computer is at your own risk. You void warranties and risk damaging components by doing this! Please don't emulate me unless you are truly okay with any kinds of negative or positive consequences that may come about) **

My settings for a decent overclock:

Ai overclock tuner: Manual
CPU Ratio: 22.0
AMD turbo core: disabled
CPU bus frequency: auto
Memory frequency: 1600
CPU/NB frequency: 2200
HT: 2400
PCIE spread and CPU spread spectrum both disabled
CPU LLC: Enabled
Northbridge/cpu LLC: Auto

Adjust CPU voltage manually
CPU voltage: 1.4125
Everything else set to auto. All C6/HPC/APM disabled.

A manual CPU voltage of 1.4125 with LLC enabled on this board will shoot your voltage up around 1.44 or so under load with this board so be aware of the thermal commitment/power usage of that. Also, I chose to cool my VRM/socket area with the Antec Spot Cool just to be on the safe side messing with the voltages.

Also, Cool & Quiet cannot be enabled when you manually adjust CPU voltages on this board (I don't really understand why). Thus, your CPU will run at full voltage regardless of load. Using my H80 the socket temperature is around 35C completely idle. Under full bore load (OCCT), I'm running about 60 C on my CPU socket and 47C on my cores. A better quality board would keep the CPU socket temperature closer to the cores, but you will pay double the price for that. The thermal limits on the FX-8320/83250 is 62C on the cores and 72C on the CPU socket. All the processors that you buy are subject to the "silicone lottery" which means some will be great overclockers and some will be terrible. These are my settings for 4.4GHz on 8 cores running stable, so yes you can OC this board and it is pretty decent at it. If you want to push your chip any harder you're probably looking at the wrong board (I would steer you towards the Asus Crosshair Formula or Asus Sabertooth motherboards)
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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2013
Before I begin I would like to point out that if you are planning to buy a motherboard, or any other major purchase, it is wise to go to the manufacturer’s website and do some research. This might even cut down on negative reviews. I downloaded the manual and Quality Vendors List (QVL) from Asus ([...]) to see which CPUs and Memory that was compatible with this motherboard. Also available at the website are the latest drivers and BIOS, a short video on how to use Bios Flashback to update Bios, and much more information.

Now I would like to address some of the negative and less favorable comments/reviews I have read:

1) No IEEE-1394 connectors or headers: The specifications say nothing about IEEE-1394 support but reading the manual there is a statement that trying to plug an IEEE-1394 connector into a USB header will damage the motherboard.

2) No USB 3.0 front panel header: It is in the manual, shows up on the motherboard diagrams and I visibly see it and clearly labeled.

3) Back plate for case does not align with motherboard: I had this same problem but after replacing the six brass standoffs on my case with taller ones everything aligned perfect. This seems like a case issue and not a motherboard issue.

4) No SLI support: The manual does say it only supports CrossoverX, with the crossover cable or via software.

One of the things I like about this motherboard is the Bios Flashback button on the board. I ordered this mother board on a Wednesday and received it on Friday, but no CPU yet. I installed the motherboard in the case, formatted a USB thumb drive to Fat32 (on my laptop), renamed and copied the Bios update file to the thumb drive, plugged the thumb drive into the designated USB port, applied power to the motherboard, pressed the Bios Flashback button and after a few moments the bios was updated – No CPU or memory installed and Bios still updated. So I know if I ever mess up the bios I will be able to easily recover my bios. I also read you can even backup and save your Bios settings for the very purpose of recovery.

The 6 Sata ports are located out of the way and don’t interfere with anything, actually the motherboard is laid out to make it easy to install most peripherals without interfering with anything else. There is one exception, I installed an Radeon HD6670 graphics card in the first PCIe x16 slot and the card does cover one of the PCIe x1 slots.

I originally downloaded the updated drivers and software from Asus but I ended up installing the drivers and software form the included CD then used the Asus EZ update to update the drivers. This was far better way than my first attempt at using the downloaded drivers.

Bottom line, this is an excellent motherboard for the price if not the best in this price range. It supports many of the AMD CPUs including the AMD FX-8120 I ordered for this board. The UEFI bios is extremely easy to navigated and adjust. The included driver and software disk includes very useful software, I like the Ai Suite, it even has an auto tune function to safely overclock the CPU and memory. I highly recommend this motherboard.

The following are the parts I ordered for the build and they all work well together. Keep in mind that the motherboard only comes with 2 Sata III cables.

AMD FX-8120 8-Core Black Edition Processor Socket AM3+ - FD8120FRGUBOX

Cooler Master Hyper TX3 - CPU Cooler with 3 Direct Contact Heat Pipes (RR-910-HTX3-G1)

Cooler Master BladeMaster 92mm PWM High Air Flow Silent Case Fan R4-BM9S-28PK-R0 (second fan for CPU cooler – push pull configuration)

PWM Y Splitter Cable Adapter (for dual CPU fan setup)

Corsair Vengeance Blue 8 GB (2X4 GB) PC3-12800 1600mHz DDR3 240-Pin SDRAM Dual Channel Memory Kit CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B

Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 1GB DDR3 HDMI/DVI-D/VGA PCI-Express Graphics Card (11192-22-20G)

Corsair Builder Series CX 500 Watt ATX/EPS 80 PLUS (CX500)
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2012
I got this motherboard a couple of weeks ago and I took my time to build the system. There were no surprises good or bad. I looked at motherboards from three other manufacturers, visited their websites, and read the reviews here at Amazon and at other online retailers. Something that I noticed is that the more advanced the motherboard is, the more one star reviews it gets. So there are a couple of things I want to comment on.

There is no memory controller on the motherboard. The memory controller is part of the CPU and that is also true of Intel systems. Search for the term "memory controller" at AMD's support site. They have some nice charts and a lot of information about their CPUs. If you're planning on overclocking RAM with a Phenom II, you probably won't like what AMD says about that. Another thing about RAM is that some of it just does not work well with some motherboards and CPUs. I suspect that Asus would prefer that you use their QVL but if you visit the sites of whichever brands of RAM that you like and ask questions in the support forums, the RAM manufacturers will point you to their products that they know will work with your motherboard/CPU.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2012
This is a great motherboard. I was building a computer on a budget, but still needed the features of those $400 motherboards. I came across this and was very amazed at its ability. It's a full atx board, so it has the four DDR3 ram slots and runs up to 32gb worth of ram. I also put a AMD FX-8150 and I wouldn't have done it any other way, but that's not the point right now. The point is that this is a quality motherboard, for the decent price that I have always seen from Asus. I would recommend this to any friend with the brains to save money and not buy intel.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2014
- UEFI BIOS that is very configurable
- Supports newer FX-series processors such as the 8-core black editions
- Supports large amount of RAM

- A pain to configure properly. The UEFI BIOS is not intuitive by any means. It took me several days of tweaking settings before I got things running.
- Poor board design. It is not true ATX. It is 12x9 instead of 12x9.6. This means that it is completely unsupported by the chassis at the end where the memory modules and most of the internal connections reside.
- Terrible board quality. Lasted only 6 months and then the RMA lasted 10 minutes.
- Terrible ASUS RMA process. Requires stripped down product to be shipped safely at consumer's discretion.
- Terrible ASUS support. Support is rarely available and frequently provides incorrect information.
- Terrible ASUS website. Many dead pages, server errors, links leading nowhere and links leading you in circles.

Liked this motherboard until it died unexpectedly after only 6 months of average use.
Would power on but then nothing. No beep codes. No video display.

I then RMA'd it and got the same motherboard back with ASUS claiming it was repaired.
The returned motherboard would only run for somewhere between 1 second and 10 minutes before freezing up.
It froze while in BIOS.
It froze while in Live CD OS.
It froze while in HDD OS.
It froze while running diagnostic utilities outside of OS.
It froze before the BIOS even loaded.
It even froze while running the built-in MemOK that is designed to automatically apply the correct RAM settings in BIOS.
This time the motherboard could not decide what was wrong.
Sometimes it beeped 1 long 3 short indicating bad GPU. I tested multiple GPU that worked fine in other systems.
Sometimes it beeped 1 long 2 short indicating bad RAM. I tried other RAM and every slot configuration.
Sometimes it thought everything was fine.

I've decided to not buy any ASUS products in the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2013
This is the second motherboard of this series, the first appeared to have defective USB 2 ports and couldn't access the BIOS, fortunately Amazon has an excellent return policy and I was able to get the replacement motherboard before I sent the first board back.
After I installed this board and hooked every up I ran into the same problem. This didn't seem possible so I decided to bench test it ( should have done that in the first place). Leaving the board in the case and disconnecting everything except the GPU I was able to get to the BIOS. Now I knew the board was ok I became a matter of determining which component was bad. I use a Crucial M500 120 GB SSD as the boot drive but I was also had a WD 1TB green HDD as the storage drive. To make a long story short for some reason the system would simply puke on the green drive since it would boot with just the SSD installed. I have since installed a WD Black 1 TB HDD and everything works just fine. It should be obvious that the first motherboard was probably not defective.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2014
Have used ASUS for sometime, different HW. I've been buidling my own systems since '94 and I do work in IT.
Are there better boards? - yes of course, almost always there are better but may also cost more or not work with some of your existing HW.

Now I purchased this board to replace my old MB that has had some issues for the past year (4yrs old btw - my system is almost always on sans PWR fail) and finally passed on. Also because my CPU would fit - here I did make a mistake thinking that I had an AMD Quad Core, having forgot that I had AMD Triple Core that the old MB allowed the 4th core unlock and was stable. This MB does not unlock the 4th core. So sadly I was reduced to 3xCore and as stated - sad :(

This promptly made me purchase a new Octo Core processor :). Also had to purchase new memory as old MB was DDR2 - this is DDR3, fine upgraded from 8GB to 16GB, made me more :).

MB itself seems to work just fine. CPU works well, RAM works well, my 4xSATA HDD all attached, recognized and booted to Win7 64 ultimate no issues, 2xSATA optical drives (DVD burner/BR Burner) working fine, I don't use onboard video unless I have to - old nVidia 9600GT 1GB still working fine (need to upgrade it soon :)) ) plugged in and worked fine, i80 watercooler fit, but I do have a large case so not much worries about fitting things in anyway. USB ports all are good to go, 3.0 working well.

The only 2 issues I ran into - 1) Some of the asus MB software, ai suite and some others - nothing really detrimental - wouldn't update/install. 2) the onboard sound ended up being sucky. Normally not a stickler on sound, video more important normally for me - but sound a bit staticy, do voice chat - mic was causing a good amount of static. Happened from rear or front jacks - front jacks even more so but that is case issue not necessarily the built in sound as I verified later. Did purchase a Xonar Sound Card (had a good deal) that worked almost perfectly - front jacks still a bit sucky. Rear jacks nearly perfect - the rest would then fall to the spearkers themselves.

Otherwise recommended purchase. If you care at all about sound or do voice chat for gaming etc then you probably want an addon sound card - then again you probably already have one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2014
I first got a very similar MSI motherboard, but the audio stopped working, and the temperature sensors seemed to be very inaccurate, saying it was very hot when it was barely warm to the touch. So I returned the defective MSI board and switched to the Asus. The Asus worked perfectly right off the bat, and the temperature sensors seemed to be much more reasonable.

The memory I am using is: G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600MHz PC3-12800 240-Pin Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM from Amazon. It works perfectly, although I am not overclocking right now.

I have not had any problems that can be attributed to the Asus. I did add a Sandisk SSD, and found that if I turned off power to the motherboard (not simply powering down, but actually removing power using the switch on the back of my case), it would not recognize the SSD for a few minutes. It does recognize the other drives, and I think it may be something with the Sandisk drive.

I personally found the setup to be a bit confusing, but that might just be me. Now that I'm used to it, I can quickly get to the hard drive setup and choose a boot drive, if needed. So far, it boots fine from DVD, fairly old hard drives, USB drives, and SD cards in an adapter.

I am using an old (Asus) Radeon HD 5450 video card, which works well for my needs with Ubuntu. I also run Windows Vista in a virtual drive for a few old Windows programs I occasionally use, such as Quicken. This works very smoothly for me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2013
It's a really good Mobo, Asus has really good hardware, but the only "con" would be its software, Asus Suite II etc only gave me innacurate information (temp, voltage, etc). Other than than really good Mobo.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2015
Long time ASUS user. This one did not disappoint either. I'm running this motherboard with an AMD AM3+ FX-6300 6-core processor, 8GB Crucial Ballistix Sport RAM, Cool Master Hyper 212 cooler, EVGA GForce GTX750Ti video card, and a Samsung 850 250GB SSD. The computer is super fast and stable. I'm very impressed with the layout of the components and how well everything fit perfectly into my older tower PC case. The system is quick to boot up Windows 8.1 and all the additional USB ports are extremely handy.

It's not the fastest setup I've owned but it's darn close. Good system for the price. Highly recommend.
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