ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe motherboard review

Julio Franco

Posts: 8,764   +1,650
Staff member
After a longer than anticipated delay the new Phenom processors saw the public light last November, but unfortunately for AMD not even then things got back to plan. Put in simple terms, instead of getting a full pack of competitive products, we only got two moderately clocked Phenom processors (9500 and 9600) that are characterized for offering quad-core processing on a budget rather than outpacing competing Intel Core 2s.

As part of the Phenom launch, AMD also unveiled a new platform (used by the ASUS M3A32-MVP we are testing today) built around the AMD 790FX chipset and the semi-new socket AM2+. This new platform still uses DDR2 memory but adds HyperTransport 3.0 support and split power lanes (which benefits power savings). The socket AM2+ is backwards compatible with Athlon X2s and Semprons, so it can serve as a middle platform if you can't upgrade CPU and motherboard all at once.

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Posts: 36   +0
Very nice review.Detailed & well explained.WiFi-AP is a nice addition.Thanks for the review Julio. :)


Posts: 6,906   +10
There remain way too many reports of problems with the Phenom processors for me to become willing to make that investment. New horror stories are popping up all the time.
Unless you have a spirit for adventure, and a deep pocketbook, sticking with the AM2 processor for now seems like the wise choice. We have just received the M3A32-MVP, and find it impressive, as is the Gigabyte... but AMD is several months behind having the right CPU product available... sorry to say.
We hope AMD gets their shop together soon, as Intel is leaping ahead, albeit at an incredibly higher cost.


Posts: 36   +0
I think better grab an AM3 board rather than an AM2+ board.Intel is certainly ahead as of now.AMD doesn't have any answer to the Q6600 or the QX9650.The AMD 9xxx series were supposed to be comparable with the Q6600 but actually Q6600 is much better as what i've seen in reviews.AMD need to do something immediately.Even the graphics market is not going well for AMD with the presence of 8800GT/GTS.


Posts: 4,190   +11
CPU wise AMD is not in very good shape but they've been getting better on the VGA front since the release of the 3870 & 3850 Radeon cards. Although they don't beat the 8800GT in performance they're less power hungry, have a slightly better HD decoding engine & are cheaper.


Posts: 36   +0
Yeah the 38xx series are doing good for AMD currently.I don't know if anybody is considering about getting the Spider or not though.AMD also supposed to release their first CrossFireX Drivers in this month which will enable gaming on 4 AMD 38xx series cards though I donno if anybody is gonna buy 4 graphic cards to play games.
why compare a system with ddr2 800 to a system with ddr3 1333 when the only two things that should be differant are the cpu. it seems that it is great that a phenom with ddr 800 can pretty much keep up with a core2 qaud with ram 500mhz faster

I also wonder why not too meany of the reviews of the phenom review the "spider" setup with the phenom +790 +3800 series
well regardless i read the anatech post and it seems like they are using a older motherboard. I will test the spider set up with the new ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe,phenom 9500,8gb ddr2 800 and one 3870 powered by the coolmax 1200watt psu I got all that for 200$ so i guess i got a good deal (well the girl gave me 1000$ becouse my old psu died hiper typeR 580watt, she said "is time for a upgrade any ways" my system is two yrs old dfi venus operton 146) I get my stuff tomorrow so i hope i have time to post some results. Also I would like to know why they compare a overclocked core2 quad to a stock speed phenom I think after a week or two of burning in and what not i might get up to 3.0ghz in the phenom then i will come back and compare my benchs to their 3.0ghz core2 quad i know the phenoms arnt exspected to overclock very well but I think given enough time they will be eqaul to the core2 quad and right now are 100$ less
Ok, here's the deal. I like AMD more than what I like Intel. But, when a system is handicapped tested, I get irritated.

According to, , the P5 Intel board has a NVidia chipset. The AM2+ board has a ATI (now AMD) chipset. In the review, an ASUS GeForce 8800GTX 768MB card was used. This is relevant because the AM2+ board is not completely compatible with the card. Sure, it will work, but not at the efficiancy that it should. Thus, taking system performance down. It is pure logic - NVidia works well with NVidia, not AMD. And ATI works well with AMD, not NVidia. They are competitors. They don't want their products to be mixed. I know this, because I had a Winfast motherboard with a NVidia chipset and a Winfast GeForce 6800GS. My friend had the Biostar 6800GS. We swopped cards to see if there is any difference in the type of motherboard used for the card. My oh my, were we amazed. There was a difference. A HUGE one!!! Where my rig got 34fps on Crysis (medium to low settings), we only got 21fps on the other card in my rig with the same settins. At least they got it right to test a board and graphics card from the same manufacturer. That's a plus.

As for the fact of testing a DDR2 system against a DDR3 system, the speed of the memory is a huge factor. Don't believe me? Try this - Boot a PC using DDR2 533MHz memory. Time the boot. Start a game. Time the startup of the game. Now, shutdown. Replace the memory with DDR2 800MHz. Repeat the above steps. Do you notice that he PC booted quicker with the 800MHz memory? And that the game started quicker too? Memory does, in fact, have an impact on system performance. The DDR3 system obviously has ugraded memory controllers in order to handle that speeds. According to the review, the AM2+ still uses DDR2. So, no improvement on that.

Ok, so when you test the CPU, and when you test the memory, they are independantly tested. No interferance from the other components. And yes, Intel does kick AMD up the backside. But only in office work. In games, AMD is king. I see that in the review, only a few benchmark tools were used. But, 3DMark wasn't used. Why is that? PCMark was used. They are from the same publisher. And 3DMark is more commonly used. Where are those results? Surely a reviewer would have used that program as well.

Another influance is the speed of the processor. A person can't pit a 3.00GHz processor against a 2.3GHz processor. It's like pitting a thorough-bred agianst a half-bred. The thorough-bred will be victorious. Now, if a 2.3GHz can almost stand it's ground against a 3.00GHz, then I would like to see how the Intel 3.00GHz puts up against a AMD 3.00GHz. Oh, right, AMD don't go that high. Pity. Or, should I say, lucky for Intel.

So, in closing, a computer system is only as good as its slowest component. In this case it's the memory. I would like to see how well the Q6600 does if it is put onto a DDR2 system. That would be interesting.

Please, don't take this wrong. I like AMD, and it was disadvantaged in this review. But it did well for that fact. Intel gave some impressive numbers here to, but you can't say that Intel is beter than it's counterpart because of this test. The Intel chip had an unfair advantage. And, if it was the other way round? Woldn't you have complained too?