Last month AMD launched its new generation A10/A8/A6/A4 desktop processors. These CPUs need a new type of processor socket, called Socket FM2. Hardware.Info reviewed three motherboards with the new AMD socket based on the most high-end A85X chipset, the ASUS F2A85-V Pro, the Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 and the MSI FM2-A85XA-G65.
Socket FM2 motherboards can also utilise the existing AMD A75 and A55 chipsets that were used for Socket FM1 motherboards. The deluxe A85X version is new. This chipset allows the 16 PCI-Express lanes for the graphics card to be divided into two times eight lanes, which means CrossFire support. The A85X includes eight SATA 600 ports, 4x USB 3.0 and 10x USB 2.0. RAID 0, 1, 10 and 5 are all supported. The fact that the chipset has eight SATA and four USB 3.0 ports means that motherboard manufacturers don't have to include extra controllers, which saves money. The three motherboards in this review cost an average of about £105, less than the high-end Intel Z77 boards.
So which features are unique for A85X boards? We put the differences side-by-side:
Below you can see the schematics of an AMD A85X motherboard. The Trinity processor is connected to the chipset via a so-called Unified Media Interface (which is in fact PCI-Express) with a speed of 2 GB/s.
We tested the three motherboards with an AMD A10-5800K processor, 8 GB DDR3-1866 RAM, an OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSD and a Cooler Master Real Power M850 power supply.