Asus M3N78 Pro



View All

Key Features

  • Review Price: £70.56

The Nvidia GeForce 8300 chipset that lies at the heart of this M3N78 Pro motherboard has given Asus a very long list of options and choices. The chipset packs an integrated graphics core that also carries the GeForce 8300 name however its specification of 16 Unified Shaders that run at 500MHz is very similar to the GeForce 8400 GS core in the Nvidia GeForce 780a SLI chipset. Sometimes we wonder whether Nvidia makes up these model codes just to cause confusion.

To add to our woes the integrated graphics core used to be known as an IGP and then more recently it was called the mGPU but on this motherboard it is the iGPU. No matter what you call it the GeForce 8300 supports PCI Express 2.0 graphics, three PCI Express x1 slots for expansion (although Asus has only installed two) and all the AMD Phenom goodness that you could wish for.

Support for Phenom may seem like a done deal provided your new motherboard has an AM2+ processor socket but the new Phenom X4 9950 has put the cat among the pigeons with its hefty power requirements. It’s not essential to select a high end Phenom chipset such as AMD 790FX to support your new Phenom but you do need to check the CPU compatibility list of the motherboard that you are considering. In the case of the M3N78 Pro Asus has got things covered with a sticker that boasts ‘140W CPU Support’.

Getting back to the GeForce 8300 iGPU we have support for HDMI, DVI and VGA outputs as well as Nvidia PureVideo HD video decoding technology so you would expect to have the minimum of trouble hooking up your M3N78 Pro to any display or TV that you may choose. In the real world things are slightly more complicated as Asus has only provided an HDMI port on the I/O panel. There’s an HDMI-to-DVI adapter in the package so you can convert the HDMI port but you cannot run HDMI simultaneously with DVI.

That’s the digital connection taken care of but what about analogue? There’s a VGA bracket in the box that plugs into a connector that is between the first and second PCI slots as you’ll see in the photo we have taken. Naturally you won’t be using this VGA bracket if you have a PCI Express graphics card installed so the routing of the VGA cable isn’t as tortuous as it may at first seem.

Asus has made a number of odd decisions when it comes to the location of the components on the M3N78 Pro. The main power connector has been placed behind the audio connections on the I/O panel so you have to feed the power supply cable past the CPU cooler and the Northbridge cooler.

In fact, the Northbridge cooler itself is also a concern as it’s only passively cooled and not especially big and is only secured with two plastic pop pins. During testing the Northbridge cooler got terribly hot until we used a case fan to keep it cool. In fairness to Asus and Nvidia we didn’t have any stability problems as a result of the heat but it seemed rather unnecessary and it is worth noting that we were using a low power 2.0GHz Phenom 9350e processor. The idea of trapping the M3N78 Pro inside your case with a hefty Phenom X4 without active cooling on the chipset strikes us as crazy.

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’


Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors


Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer


These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3


Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones


It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites


New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money