The first thing you need to know about this motherboard is that it's for an AMD processor. This means that if you have an Intel processor, arguably the most popular processing manufacturer then this board isn't for you. This board is an AMD3 board which supports the Athlon and Phenom processors. The first thing you notice is that this is quite a small motherboard so will fit in most cases.
The quality of this case, although cheap, does not reflect. This seems like a much more expensive motherboard with 2 PCi slots for TV cards, Sound Cards or a Wireless card. There is even a PCI-e slot which are used by graphics card meaning this is a really good motherboard for a gamer. There is two RAM slots which can hold a maximum of 2x4GB more than enough for the average user. The back panel has more than enough connectors and has everything that you'd expect to find.
There are a few nice features on the motherboard such as Asus express gate. This is basically a built in OS (A very small, lightweight Linux distro) that boots in seconds allowing you fast access to the internet. It's a pretty nice idea, but I personally have no use for it because my PC boots in 30 seconds anyway. There is another feature called Asus Core Unlocker. What this basically when AMD make, for example a quad-core CPU and one of the cores doesn't meet up to the requirements is that instead of just binning it, AMD rebrand it has a Tri-Core CPU and lock the below spec 4th core. What Asus Core Unlocker can do is unlock that 4th core giving you an extra core. This however won't work on every processor and from experience it stops programs such as Speccy, CPUtemp giving readings which I use alot. There are 6 SATA ports which is incredible, meaning you can have upto 6 devices such as hard drives and CD drives, but remember, your case may not have enough 3.5" bays for all those hard drives.
The downsides of this particular board is the lack of a HDMI cable. These days instead of having 2 wires trailing one neat wire that carries audio and video is nice to have, unfortunately this doesn't have one. I wasn't put off by this since I have a surround sound system for audio and a graphics card for HDMI. Please remember it's unusual for graphics card with HDMI to also carry the PC audio. Another potential problem is that there is only 2 RAM slots. Personally, I would have liked 4 slots just for future-proofing and the option to add more 2GB RAM sticks.
Considering this is a cheap motherboard it has some pretty nice features whilst not skimping on the overall quality of the board. I'd recommend this more for a low end budget build since it hasn't got enough RAM slots for my liking. I've had this for almost a year now with no trouble whatsoever and would buy from ASUS again since they're a well known brand.
Underneath the TV in my living room I have a computer that is used purely to store movies to watch on my TV, and until recently, this was the motherboard that powered it all. I'll go through all of the different things that you can do with it, the reasons why I went for this model in the first place and then why you might want to choose something else.
So this motherboard supports AMD chips (the other big player being Intel) and as such, if you are going for this board you'll need to get an AMD CPU (more specifically one with an AM3 connector. I went for a medium powered Athlon, it's not the most powerful chip - but is does the job for playing media.
So this board takes DDR3 RAM, and I only had a small 2GB installed. It can go up to 8GB though so if you want to use it for more powerful stuff then its perfectly fine.
Rather straight forward this one - it comes with 2 PCI ports, I use one of these for a TV card and the other one for a sound card - it means that I can record TV through it the sound that it produces is of a higher quality. It also has one PCIexpress and one PCIexpress2 ports but I dont use either of these for anything.
This is where the motherboard comes into its own...it has a total of 6 SATA ports, which is a HUGE number! With this number the motherboard would easily be able to handle at least 10TB of drive space without breaking a sweat (just remmeber to get a power supply that thinks the same!)
In terms of external ports, this motherboard is all pretty much of a muchness with anything else that you would find, it has 4 USB ports, PS/2 ports for mice and keyboard and VGA and DVI ports for monitors (I used the VGA and managed to get 1920x1080 resolution from it)
--So why this motherboard?--
The main reason that I got this board was because, at the time, it was a very very low price - and it was also when AMD processors were SLIGHTLY cheaper than their Intel equivalents...making it a better option. On top of this, the 6 SATA ports really stood out as a plus - yes, I was only using 4 when it was 'retired' but it was still good to have the option of another 2 hard drives. Also, the form factor for this board (micro ATX) is very well supported, and even older computer cases will have predrilled holes that you can use for it (mines did!)
--Why Might you not want to get it?--
Maybe it's me - but AMD still is seen as 'second best' in the computer world - they generally dont have as good quality builds as Intel, so that might put you off - but that is more about the processor than the motherboard. Issues that you might have with the motherboard are that it does not have an HDMI output, something that is very useful nowadays as it is just 1 cable for both sound and audio. Also, the onboard graphics only has a heatsink on top of it and no fan...this could be a bit problematic as it will get very very hot and may cause damage to the board later on.
So if you're after a cheap motherboard for a new build, then this is a pretty good choice. I was pleased with it and it lasted me a long time. I eventually got rid of it for a different one that had a HDMI port, but that was purely for ease of use with my new TV. It has more than the average amount of ports for devices on the inside (which is nice) so is pretty upgradable for its size. The only problems that you may have with it in the future is trying to keep the whole thing cool.