MSI FM-2 A85XA-G65 motherboard review

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The MSI FM2 A85XA-G65 locked and loaded with features

There's a pretty good chance you have just read our A10 series APU review from AMD. 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 MSI 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.

MSI for example, offer the board as tested today with "Military Class III" components for prolonged stable power delivery and longevity, albeit most Taiwanese OEMs have already been using solid-state capacitors and high quality chokes for quite some time.

The motherboard is loaded with little gimmicks and 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 ?


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