Right, we start off with packaging as always, so you know what to look for in the stores. The motherboard by the way falls in the Up4 series which you can recognize by the overall aesthetics, have a peek:
For entry level motherboards and APUs, you have to admit that is one sexy looking motherboard right there. The focus of this motherboard is that it has a dark looking design whilst remaining competitive with pricing. Gigabyte applies their Ultra Durable 5 motherboard technoloogy and thus it comes with IR3550 PowIRstage ICs from International Rectifier, 2X Copper PCB and high current Ferrite Core Chokes rated up to 60A. These features will deliver cooler temperatures opposed to 'nortmal' motherboards.
The rear I/O panel - It is just check full with goodies. We spot USB ports, four of them 3.0 , 7.1 Realtek Audio and Gigabit Ethernet. You will also notice a legacy PS/2 port here, and check out the four different display connectors including HDMI and DisplayPort will delight the triple-display Eyefinity aficionados. Next to that DVI and the really outdated VGA connector.
When we flip the board around a little we see some more good lovin. Components wise we only see quality really, solid capacitors, solid core chokes, quality components and nothing else, which ensures stability -- but also reliability and extended lifespan. There is 4 x DIMM DDR3 socket support up to 64GB DIMM support with Support for DDR3 up to 1333/1600/1866. The motherboard has Socket FM2 for AMD A series Trinity processors, also referred to as socket A85X - This board supports CPU up to 100W TDP.
So yeah -- 64GB memory support that’s double than what we see on other FM2 mainboards have. The supported DDR3 memory can have a maximum frequency of 1866 MHz while overclocking will let us use it at more than 2400 MHz along with implementing AMD’s Memory Profile (AMP).
When we flip the board once more we see lot's of stuff going on. To the far right Power on/reset, and then a good six visible SATA 6GBps ports, all leading directly from the A85X FCH. There are actually seven available and they can manage RAID 0/1/5/10 capability as well. If you like to build a cheap NAS, here is your answer. We tested the controller with a SATA3 SSD and the performance really is impressive. The 8th SATA connector is used for eSATA ar the rear IO backplate.
The HD Audio and Gigabit LAN are taken care of by Realtek. There are four USB 3.0 ports on the I/O panel and two more are available through a header on the mainboard along with two USB 2.0 ports on the panel and 8 more coming from the PCB headers.
Gigabyte makes use of an Etron EJ168 chip to provide more USB 3.0 ports on the I/O panel and, being an overclocking-oriented product, the GA-F2A85X-UP4 also comes with one Power button, one Reset button along with a CLR CMOS button. But we'll zoom in on that in a tidbit.
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