Okay, this is sheer gorgousness-ness-nezzz... :) Gigabyte did a great job tucking away as much as they can into a 17x17cm motherboard, and then... it remains to be a cool looking dude as well! Being entry-level product based I initially was surprised how many motherboard manufacturers jump onto A85X as much as they do.
Honestly I expected simple motherboards. But take today's tested motherboard, I mean what is not in there? I mean you receive Gigabit Ethernet, WIFI, BlueTooth, dual-slot DIMMs, four SATA 3 ports, 4x USB 3.0, a fully functional gen 2.0 x16 slot and then the embedded Realtek multi-channel audio as well as two HDMI ports and a DVI connector thanks to to combination with the APU. I don't know about you, but that just oozes value for a simple PC, Net PC, HTPC or file server. And looking at it makes you wonder how for that kind of price tag it is so chucked and loaded with features, so much that you'd think this gear is intended for the mainstream market. And again... great aesthetics as well.
The truth lies in the fact that if you understand the product positioning a little better (entry level) and then look into all the features... then it's a pretty amazing offering. 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 two monitors with a motherboard like this, included is 2x HDMI and DVI.
Audio wise you got your 8-channel Realtek based sound, Ethernet wise a nice Gigabit RJ-45 is present and then you'll spot USB 3.0 and the four SATA3 ports, which we tested and they manage 500 MB/sec easily. That last fact makes this setup BTW ridiculously interesting for your own home made NAS setup as these devices can be setup in a variety of RAID options as well. Yeah, what I am trying to say here is that these setups offer true value for money. We see huge potential for it as NET PC, entry level gaming PC, NAS functionality and obviously this is the shizznit for building excellent yet affordable HTPCs. So if you are in the market for a simple PC to internet on, do a little work, play a simple game, listen to music on... then it won't get much better then this. Recommended, if this is what your requirements and needs for a PC are of course.
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