Pros: Incredible cooling, lots of options for overclocking, great support.
Cons: Unstable, full of defects, RMA department support pitiful.
I begin this review with a caveat that, after having the board for 3 months, the RAID controller failed and I am getting a new board shipped to me from the manufacturer. I don't think that this should taint the review as my previous ASUS MOBO (M2N32-SLI Deluxe) worked perfectly for 6 years running 24/7. I think this was just a fluke.
I wanted to upgrade my system, so I chose this motherboard along with a quad-core AMD Athlon II 3.00 GhZ processor and 16GB DDR3 memory. I also purchased a new Nvidia video card that had HDMI as I have a 26" monitor with HDMI inputs.
First of all, I'm not going to go into the specs as the manufacturer's website will give you all of that information. This review will be on ease of installation, performance and reliability.
When I opened the box, everything was laid out nicely with a full printed manual for installation, all required screws, cables, etc. I have a full-sized tower case, so there was plenty of room to work. Installation was a snap. Everything was clearly marked both in the manual as well as on the board. Upon startup, I set up my RAID configuration (2 sets of mirrored drives - one set for programs and apps, and the second set for data). There are plenty of SATA ports (6) which I have all of them used along with an EIDE slot for my DVRW drive. One disappointment was that there was no interface for a floppy drive. I realize that few people use floppys anymore, but I still have found it convenient to have one when everything else fails.
The second thing that I was truly impressed is that ASUS has improved its cooling configuration. My components were running much cooler than the previous board which put less o a load on the various fans that I have installed in the case.
There are plenty of parameters for overclockers or, if like me just need a computer that will edit music and video, the quad-core AMD processor and 16GB as well as 2 WD Raptor 10,000 RPM drives was enough for me, so I left everything automatic.
I installed Windows 7 Professional on the PC which installed without a hitch and all of the drivers were readily available on ASUS' website. In conclusion, this board delivers whatever the average to expert user would want at a reasonable price. If you're into gaming, you may want to consider another model and an Intel processor. But not into gaming of any sort (other than Angry Birds on my phone), this board has performed well.
Finally, tech support at ASUS is excellent with a variety of options from online chat, to email, to live support by phone. The board carries a 3-year warranty. I will update after receiving the replacement should I experience any serious problems and suspecting that this was just a fluke that the RAID controller failed. My older ASUS board is testament to durability and consistent performance. Because of the failure, I dropped the rating by one star. However, ASUS motherboards are among the most popular motherboards on the market.
UPDATE 6/8/12: I retract the notation about the RAID controller failing. When the new board arrived, it started immediately acting erratically. Upon further research, I found out that it was actually the power supply that was failing. It was providing enough power to start fans, but other functions were not working. Since 2 boards being defective would be VERY unusual, I got a replacement power supply and everything was working perfectly. I have changed the star rating to a 5. ASUS support is excellent and they have a top reputation on the market for hardware reliability.
UPDATE: 11/12/12: I noticed that the model number listed in Epinions is incorrect the board is an M4A87TD EVO. In addition to this, the board failed a THIRD time. I have had it with ASUS products. They were supposed to be the top motherboard manufacturer for 2012, but this board shows otherwise. Their RMA department is slow to respond, wait time is terrible, and I replaced just about every other component in the computer because their techs said it was probably not the fault of the board. Adding up all of the time and cost, I could have purchased an off-the-shelf branded PC for much less hassle. My recommendation: DO YOUR HOMEWORK and thoroughly search models that you are looking at before buying. I have downgraded the rating on this board to a 1 because I wouldn't recommend it to my dog.