We are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into an AC wall socket).
With its EPU processor and software, the ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 does well to keep the power draw down at idle speeds even with the higher clocked HD 5870 V2. When we push things well, all bets are off as all of the systems fire up to give you the speed you are asking for.
As a new measure, we are now monitoring the heat generation from the key components on the motherboard; this being the Northbridge, Southbridge (if it contains one) as well as the Mosfets around the CPU. The results are recorded at idle and load during the power consumption tests.
Even with the interesting move of the Northbridge to below the voltage regulation circuits, we did not see much of an increase in heat generated by this hardware. Even under the load of overclocking, heat was not much of an issue.
The ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 is a very capable motherboard with multiple usage models. It is a great gaming platform (that will not cost you an arm and a leg) while also more than competent to handle workstation level tasks.
The design departures we noted in the layout section did not cause us any issues at all. Instead we found the board to have a most effective layout for airflow, installation and day to day usage. HDD performance did seem to be lower than expected, but with the areas we saw as problematic, we think this could be a combination of the SB850 and the Trim firmware on the Corsair Force 120 SSDs we are using.
At $184.99 from NewEgg.com you will be getting a lot for your money as you put together your AMD system. ASUS' Core Unlocker will even allow you to try your luck at picking a dual or tri core CPU that may have extra "hidden" cores. Simply put, you would not go wrong in picking up the M4A89TD PRO/USB3 for any AMD system you are planning on.