AMD A85X Mobo Roundup: ASRock, Gigabyte, Asus - HotHardware

AMD A85X Mobo Roundup: ASRock, Gigabyte, Asus

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The Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 is a full ATX board, and by A85X standards it’s pretty luxe. It has three physical PCIe 2.0 x16 slots, though the only the first has 16 actual lanes. The second has eight, and the third a mere four. The board also has three PCIe x1 slots and even an old-school PCI slot--this is clearly a board designed for purposes other than gaming.


Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4
Specifications & Features
CPU: Supports AMD Socket FM2 100W Processors


Chipset: AMD A85X (Hudson-D4)
Memory: Dual Channel DDR3 memory
4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM slots
Supports DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066
Max. capacity of system memory: 64GB
Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) and AMD Memory Profile (AMP)
 
Graphics: 1 x D-Sub port
1 x DVI-D port, supporting a maximum resolution of 2560x1600
* Support for 2560x1600 resolution requires both a monitor and cable that support Dual Link DVI.
* The DVI-D port does not support D-Sub connection by adapter.
1 x HDMI port, supporting a maximum resolution of 1920x1200
1 x DisplayPort, supporting a maximum resolution of 2560x1600
Support for AMD CrossFire™ technology
Support for AMD Dual Graphics technology
Audio: Realtek ALC892 codec
High Definition Audio
2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
Support for S/PDIF Out
LAN: Realtek GbE LAN chip (10/100/1000 Mbit)
Slots: 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
* For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed, be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
* The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
* The PCIEX1_3 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX4 slot. When the PCIEX1_3 slot is populated, the PCIEX4 slot will operate at up to x1 mode.
3 x PCI Express x1 slots
(All PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
1 x PCI slot
SATA3: 7 x SATA 6Gb/s connectors (SATA3 0~6) supporting up to 7 SATA 6Gb/s devices
1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector on the back panel supporting up to 1 SATA 6Gb/s device
Support for RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, and JBOD
USB 3.0: Up to 4 USB 3.0/2.0 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 2 ports available through the internal USB header)
Up to 10 USB 2.0/1.1 ports (2 ports on the back panel, 8 ports available through the internal USB headers)
Etron EJ168 chip:
Up to 2 USB 3.0/2.0 ports on the back panel
Rear Panel: 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse port
1 x D-Sub port
1 x DVI-D port
1 x optical S/PDIF Out connector
1 x HDMI port
1 x DisplayPort
4 x USB 3.0/2.0 ports
2 x USB 2.0/1.1 ports
1 x eSATA 6Gb/s connector
1 x RJ-45 port
6 x audio jacks (Center/Subwoofer Speaker Out/Rear Speaker Out/Side Speaker Out/Line In/Line Out/Microphone)
Form Factor: ATX Form Factor
 

Like the Asrock board, the Gigabyte board has a black PCB, but it adds a bit more grey to the VRMs, southbridge heatsink, and alternate RAM slots. The Gigabyte board has seven 6Gb/s SATA ports (with the eighth SATA lane used for the rear panel eSATA port), but they’re perpendicular to the motherboard in the usual fashion, not pointing straight up like the Asrock board’s ports.

In addition to all the ports and outputs of the Asrock board, the Gigabyte also has a DisplayPort. It has four USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 in the rear. This is a bit awkward if you have a USB keyboard, mouse, and external optical drive, as you’ll have a hard time installing the drivers for the USB 3.0 ports without all three.

Gigabye officially supports DDR3/1866 at the highest, while the other two boards support overclocking up to DDR3/2400 in theory (or "2600+," in ASRock's case.  Finally, Gigabyte opts for Realtek audio and Ethernet controllers and adds an Etron USB 3.0 chip for two additional USB 3.0 ports in the rear panel.

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liking the gigabyte for being a HTPC/Media server,, all 3 boards have lots of sata, but even 7 ports can be low, nice to see 3 x1 slots for cheap raid cards that you can get with some wd drives..

my current setup has 5 HDD & 1 SSD but no more ports available even after adding a raidcard (dvd drive uses 1 sata as well)

Even if you choose to amp this one up a bit with a decent GPU, you would still have 2 x1 slots left, the other boards make leave you with 1 or none

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Thanks for the review Nathan. These boards actually look pretty good to me. (especially the ASUS)

Was the Hybrid Crossfire tried out?

Was there any test of the PCI-E slots in Crossfire?

I have an FM1 system that works pretty good. Looks like AMD just improved on the platform.

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