ASUS A88X-Pro Conclusion
IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested, which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.
It’s hard to judge the performance of a motherboard. In testing, the three different FM2+ motherboards were too close to call, which isn’t all that surprising anyway. The best measure of a motherboard is the features it comes with, since the scores using all the same components are bound to be pretty close to each other. Many of the features on the ASUS A88X Pro are designed to boost performance. The TPU increases processor performance while the EPU handles optimizing power efficiency. Additional processing units like those help set the ASUS A88X Pro apart from the crowd.
I really like the look of the ASUS A88X Pro. The yellow on black color scheme is nice, although I wish the yellow of the heatsinks and the yellow of the PCI-E and DIMM slots matched a little better. I also like fancy heatsink styles. They look like the jaws of some terrible beat, ready to clamp down on some unsuspecting victim. While my favorite heatsink design belongs to MSI’s dragon-shaped heatsink, these ones are pretty cool looking too.
ASUS has always been one to strive to lead the industry in quality of construction. On the A88X Pro, ASUS includes a number of high-quality components to enhance durability and improve construction. The components start with a Digital VRM design to enhance power control and include a special fuse for overcurrent protection, electro-static discharge guards, high-quality solid capacitors, and something a little new; a stainless steel I/O plate. All combined, the construction quality of the A88X Pro is great.
The ASUS A88X Pro also offers quite a bit in terms of functionality. One of the main features ASUS includes is the AI Suite, that allows control of much of the functionality offered by the motherboard, including the TPU, EPU, Fans, and the power control. The AI Suite will even optimize all four of those for you automatically if you’d like. The ASUS A88X Pro also offers a little more functionality than your average motherboard in the form of two eSATA ports, three full-sized PCI-E ports, a slew of USB 3.0 ports, USB BIOS Flashback capability, and a direct to BIOS DirectKey button on the board, to name a few.
As of April 2014 the online retail price for the ASUS A88X Pro motherboard is $123.99 (Amazon | Newegg). That it puts it at the very top of the list of A88X motherboards. Now, the ASUS A88X Pro does offer more features than other A88X motherboards that I’ve taken a look at, but do those extra features make up the price difference? You can find some A88X motherboards for about half that price, albeit with much more limited functionality. I like the extra features and the enhanced functionality of the A88X Pro, but I would also like to see price a little lower.
– Very Skimpy on the Accessories
– A little pricey