Early October AMD launched the new A10, A8, A6 and A4 'Trinity' processors, and Hardware.Info recently reviewed three motherboards with the new Socket FM2 processor socket. Sapphire also sent us a motherboard compatible with the new processors, and here's our review of the Sapphire Pure Platinum A85XT.
The Pure Platinum A85XT is an ATX motherboard that's based on the AMD A85X chipset. This A85X is the most high-end chipset that's available for the AMD A processor, and includes features such as 8 SATA600 ports, 4x USB 3.0 and Crossfire support.
The Sapphire board has two PCI-Express x16 slots (16/0 or 8/8 lanes), a PCI-Express x4 slot, two PCI-Express x1 slots and two standard PCI slots. Between these two expansion slots there is a Mini PCI-Express connector, that also serves as mSATA. Sapphire used one of the chipset's eight SATA600 connectors for this, the rest are internal. The board has four USB 3.0 ports, two of which are external, and there are 10 USB 2.0 ports. What's unique on this motherboard is the presence of Bluetooth, this was absent on the other A85 boards.
A Realtek ALC892 chip provides the onboard 7.1 audio, and the Gigabit LAN connection also comes from a Realtek chip.
The Sapphire motherboard has five fan connectors, only one of which is PWM. The CPU has an eight-phase power supply, the same as the other FM2 boards we tested. Extra features include onboard power and reset buttons, a HEX display for BIOS POST code and two BIOS chips, one of which you can replace.
Sapphire uses a graphical EFI-BIOS, called QBIOS. It doesn't stand out in terms of options, but has the same number of features as ASUS, MSI and Gigabyte.
The Pure Platinum A85XT motherboard will cost around £103, which is a little cheaper than the ASUS and Gigabyte boards. MSI is still slightly more affordable.