The mainboard is a key component whose capabilities largely determine those of the whole computer. Unfortunately, not all is well in this market sector if viewed with an overclocker’s eye. Brands that have traditionally been friendly towards the overclocker are not such nowadays. Abit was long beset with all manner of troubles and was then bought out and hasn’t yet returned to its own level in the past. EPoX mainboards are generally good at overclocking processors, but each has a few more or less serious defects. DFI’s products have gained recognition recently, but they are not ideal, either, and are not very widespread.
I won’t mention mainboards from Acorp, Biostar or Chaintech because their production volumes are small and there’s lack of statistical data. You can get an overclocker-friendly or an absolutely non-overclockable product.
Among the top four manufacturers, Gigabyte’s and MSI’s mainboards have never been really good at overclocking while ECS is not even to be mentioned in this context. The news about the spinning off of Gigabyte’s mainboard and graphics card manufacture into a joint company with ASUS gave us a hope, but it was soon extinguished by the subsequent comments: nothing is going to change for end users, including overclockers, after this merger.
So what do we have in the end? ASUSTeK, all alone. Its mainboards are generally good and the model range is extensive so you can easily select what suits you best. Considering that the company boasts the largest mainboard production volumes, has a long-established distribution network and a well-recognized brand, and enjoys high popularity among the users, it is not surprising that ASUS mainboards are often reviewed in our labs and, thanks to their overclocking merits, often remain here as the basis for our testbeds. This time I’m inviting you to learn more about the capabilities of two mainboards from ASUS designed for AMD Socket AM2 processors.