ECS A85F2-A Golden motherboard review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 11/12/2012 09:13 AM [ 2 comment(s) ]
Final words and conclusion
The conclusion of this article will be much like many of our other APU and APU related motherboard reviews. PCs based upon these APUs are low-end / entry level products. They offer okay CPU performance versus really good integrated GPU performance.
And this I've stated before as well, being entry-level product based I am a little surprised to see motherboard manufacturers jump onto A85 as much as they do. Honestly I expected simple motherboards. But take today's tested example. The A85F2-A that ECS offers is loaded with features, so much that's you'd think this gear is intended for the mainstream market. This is a full size ATX board all pimped out and very pleasing to the eyes.
Honestly though ECS did skimp on production cost, there's no diagnostic POST LED, no on-board buttons for power and reset, no voltage check points and so on. But honestly, this platform doesn't need that anyway. So why waste money on it ? ECS is selling this board in the 125 USD bracket, it's a pretty amazing offering when you look at it.
You pick up the motherboard, APU, some memory, PSU, a HDD/SSD and literally you already have formed a perfectly fine PC that offers decent performance but most of all, and here we go again, features ... I mean you can drive three monitors with a motherboard like this, included is HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI and DSUB VGA. Audio wise you got your 8-channel based sound, Ethernet wise a nice Gigabit RJ-45 is present and then you'll spot USB 3.0 and a near silly eight SATA3 ports (inc one eSATA), which we tested and they manage 500 MB/sec easily.
That last fact makes this setup rather appealing for your own home made NAS setup as these 8 devices can be setup in a varyity of RAID options as well. And then the added MSI lovin, power/reset buttons, a cool black design with appropriate heatsinks, the two x16 PCIe Express slots, three x1 slots and then two more PCI slots.
Value for money is what the APU products are all about. It will make a fantastic NET PC or regular work desktop. ECS pimped up the hardware by giving it their gold treatment, hate it or like it .. it is very original and does make the mainboard stand out from the others. Other trhen that it's feature rich, very stable and a please to work on really. These boards are just great value, and that is exactly what this segment is all about. You can find the A85F2-A Golden edition for roughly 125 USD at on-line retailers like NewEgg. If you need a simple yet versatile PC with great looks ... hey keep this one on your short-list. It's certainly something special.
For this article we test and review the ECS A85F2-A Golden motherboard. This motherboard is intended for AMDs Trinity APU architecture processors which offer tremendous value for money when it comes to the massive features this cute little motherboard offers. ECS delivered the Golden edition, meaning a black motherboard with gold themed components. And that sure;y makes a difference aesthetics wise.