Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 Review
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition "C3"
Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3.0 Motherboard
4GB Corsair XMS3 PC3-12800C8 RAM
Samsung Spinpoint F1 320GB SATA II Hard Disk Drive
XFX Radeon HD 5670 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
Samsung 22x DVD+/-RW SATA
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Asus include a basic operating system with a number of motherboards, known as Express Gate. Once installing it via Windows and enabling it in BIOS, you now have access to a secondary operating system for basic uses. This may prove useful for quick and simple tasks when you’re in a rush and can’t wait for Windows Vista/7 to boot.
As an OS, it includes just about everything you need, such as an Internet Browser, Calendar, Email Application and Instant Messaging. Our System booted into Express Gate within 7 seconds of power up.
Turbo Key II
Alongside the Core Unlocker switch, you will also find a switch labelled “Turbo Key II”. This is an automatic Overclocking facility that should hopefully allow for a stable performance boost with minimal end user intervention. Let’s put it to the test, shall we?
This instant overclocking tool offered us a result frequency of 3.67GHz with our Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition CPU. A voltage increase of 0.05V appears to have been applied, which for this chip is unnecessary below 3.80GHz. Regardless, this isn't a poor show at all. We will return to manual overclocking shortly.
As previously mentioned, the Advanced Clock Calibration function does not exist on the SB850 Southbridge. However, one would gather that motherboard manufacturers have been able to interpret the logic that leads to core unlocking behaviour, allowing them to implement solutions of their own. At any rate, Asus have done so by means of a hardware switch on the PCB itself.