|Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 AMD FM2 Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Thursday, 25 October 2012|
Page 9 of 10
F2A85X-UP4 Final Thoughts
The Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 is a good start for the A85X chipset. I wouldn't really call it an "enthusiast" or "overclocker" motherboard, but since it is paired with the Trinity APUs, there really isn't much need for that anyway. If you happen to be an overclocker on a budget, the Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 offers a lot features, such as high-end components and a great Digital PWM to help you channel more voltage toward the components and push the envelope a little. The added EasyTune6 software helps make that easy.
But the Second Generation of A-Series APUs isn't necessarily your average overclocker fare. These APUs don't even have an L3 cache. They certainly don't compare in any way to the high end i5 or i7 processors. They do match the performance level of the Intel processors nearest their price range, but these APUs are really for entry-level and up to mid-level computers.
Because of that, I can't blame Gigabyte for not including a bigger PWM or more enthusiast features like better heat management over the MOSFETs. I do have to give them credit for including as many features as they did.
The Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 includes every video port you could need, and you can use any three of them to power three monitors. Gigabyte included four rear panel USB 3.0 ports in addition to the internal header. There is an external SATA port on the rear I/O as well. Add that to the seven internal ports and you have eight total.
At $129.99, the Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 certainly has a lot of features to help out any system builder. The onboard diagnostic LEDs, power switch, and clear CMOS button. The F2A85X-UP4 even includes two BIOS chips for extra redundancy in case something goes wrong. Overall, I'd say it's well worth the price. That being said, the A85X doesn't really improve much over the A75 chipset other than giving users the ability to run dual discrete GPUs. There are a lot of A75 FM2 motherboards for much lower prices.
The fact of the matter is I recently built a computer for a good friend of mine. The Trinity APUs were a perfect choice, but I opted for an A75 FM2 motherboard instead of an A85X solely because of the price. I think the A85X occupies a tough selling point. Enthusiast and overclockers who would use a second discrete GPU may opt for Bulldozer or Ivy Bridge instead. Gamers looking for a great deal that will still play games or other users looking for a good deal might opt to save $50 or more going with the A75 chipset instead.
Bottom line: Great motherboard at a good price but in a niche market. Go A75 and save the cash.