At $164.99 US the ASUS M5A99X EVO is an attractive option for someone that's looking at getting a board using the latest AMD chipset that will offer support for Bulldozer when it's released. Because it also carries the SB950 SouthBridge, the only real main performance feature it's missing over the 990FX based boards is support for x16 / x16. Of course, dual card setups are still supported, but they will run at x8 / x8; a little like the P67 / Z68 chipset.
It's not a bad thing and it's a good way to save some money, especially in the instance you're not looking at going down the path of multiple VGA cards. Of course, compared to something like the Crosshair V Formula, the board misses some of that ROG goodness, but performance at stock is just as strong as more expensive options and while overclocking wasn't as high, it's still very good.
Sure, compared to the Crosshair V Formula the board lacks some of the flair that we love, but carrying still that dark colored PCB and a very neutral color setup for the rest of the board, the more budget orientated EVO doesn't look like a budget board.
Combined with an X6 1100T, the M5A99X EVO comes in at under $400 US. Wanting to save even more money, you could go with this board and something like an X4 965 Black Edition which would come in at around the $300 US mark.
That would be a really nice combination that would keep you tied over till Bulldozer comes out and like we've said in the past, because Bulldozer won't require a new motherboard, you can just pop out your CPU and throw in your new one without a need to format.
All in all, if you're looking at getting in on Bulldozer, would like to start making the transition now with a current Phenom II processor or maybe your existing processor, the M5A99X EVO from ASUS is a great starting point with its strong price tag. The good news is, if you're happy to spend more, the Crosshair V Formula we looked at is also a fantastic option.
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