Asrock A75 Pro4 review
While Intel changes socket type almost every time it launches a new processor range, AMD has normally been more consistent - the later Socket AM3 Phenom II processors, for example, would also work with Socket AM2+ motherboards with a simple BIOS update.
Desktop processors with the new Llano architecture (AMD calls the new desktop range 'Lynx') have a very different architecture from previous AMD chips, not least because there are graphics built onto the chip. They also require a new socket - FM1 - and Asrock's A75 Pro4 is the first board we’ve seen with this socket type.
It’s relatively expensive for an AMD board, but it has an impressive specification. There are two PCI Express x16 and two PCI Express x1 slots, although you'll block one of the x1 slots if you fit a dedicated graphics card. There are also two PCI slots for older expansion cards. Storage is taken care of with five SATA3 ports, which is a fairly typical number, but, as with most of the Intel Socket 1155 motherboards we saw in our last components Labs in Shopper 279, there are no IDE or floppy ports. The lack of a floppy port probably won't bother you, but if you have an older IDE hard disk or optical drive you may want to upgrade or use a SATA to IDE converter, which cost around £8.
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