It's very likely you have read our AMD A10 series APU reviews. These APU's slash processors offer value for money in the entry level PC market. Obviously the APU needs some sort of infrastructure as well, and that's where FM2 motherboards jump in. In the weeks to come you are going to notice a lot of reviews on A85X motherboards from various manufacturers. Now we have multiple of these motherboards in the lab here so for the APU reviews we used ASUS board in this review an ECS board and there will be more.
But what are these new motherboards all about ? Well, the chip used on these puppies is the FCH and alongside the Trinity processor APUs the new A85X FCH is born.
First off, to clear some confusion, Trinity-based APUs are not socket-compatible with Llano. So the new A10 APU would not fit on the older models motherboards. The old chipset and the new one however are hard to separate. The A85X FCH gives you eight SATA 6Gb/s-capable ports, RAID 5 support, and the ability to divide the APU’s 16 lanes of PCI Express 2.0 into a pair of x8 links. That really is the big difference right there. Then of course the motherboard manufacturers will add more ICs and designs to make the products more attractive.
ECS is going all bling once again, the A85F2-A GOLDEN could even be a little overkill for the price point of view and the sheer segment the AMD APUs operatie in (entry-level to mainstream). The motherboard is pretty high end really themed in gold. Gold happens is a great conductor of heat and electricity. Thus, ECS made plating out of this material and used it on critical contacts. You will spot solid capacitors and Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) protection for VGA, USB, LAN and HDMI ports all in gold colors.
That said, the mainboard features the FM2 socket and, since it is based on the A85F2-A Deluxe, it's likely the the A75 chipset. The board comes with 4 DIMM, 64 GB dual-channel DDR3 RAM max and AMP Technology support. AMP is short for AMD Memory Profile and, like Intel's XMP, leads to a better performance when AMD AMP-certified memory is installed.
The motherboard has two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots, good enough for high-end graphics setup, even CrossFireX. Also you will see three PCI Express x1 and two PCI slots. As for storage, the A85F2-A GOLDEN offers seven SATA 6 Gbps connectors for HDDs, SSDs or SSHDs.
The motherboard is loaded with featres, for example you'll spot no less then four monitor outputs on this product. But anyway, have a peek and let's dive into the review shall we ? Gold babeeh.
ECS A85F2-A Golden motherboard review 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.