Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4 review
FM2, ATX, AMD A85X chipset, supports: 2nd gen Trinity AMD A-series
The Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 supports AMD’s latest ‘Trinity’ chips, such as the Best Buy-winning A10-5800K. As its name implies, the GA-F2A85X-UP4 uses the A85X chipset, which means the old SATA2 connector, now replaced by seven SATA3 connectors. No more will you have to compromise or swap round SATA cables to get the best speed for whichever new device you want to use – you can just plug in your latest SSD and go. It also has a good complement of I/O ports on the top and back panels.
You get four USB3 ports on the back panel and one USB3 header in addition to two USB2 ports on the back panel and three USB2 headers. It also has the obligatory Gigabit Ethernet port, 7.1 surround sound outputs, an optical S/PDIF output, an eSATA port and a single legacy PS/2 port. We welcome the four back-panel USB3 ports, but think Gigabyte could’ve thrown in a couple more USB3 headers and lost the eSATA port. Everyone wants USB3, but we don’t know anyone who needs eSATA. More pleasing is its complement of graphics outputs in the form of D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort connectors, providing an output for every occasion.
There's a great selection of ports
Perhaps most important for gamers is the three PCI-E x16 slots. These can be configured to run in CrossFire mode, although the one slot runs at x8 and the other x4. The board also has three PCI-E x1 slots, but you’ll lose one if you install a graphics card in one of the first two PCI-E x16 slots. It also has a single legacy PCI slot, which is handy if you need to install a FireWire or USB expansion card.
With an AMD A10-5800K and 4GB of 1600MHz DDR3, our benchmarks returned a score of 63 overall. This score is around what we expect from the A10-5800K. We overclocked our A10-5800K to 4.2GHz and ran the benchmarks again, getting a 10 per cent increase in performance that boosted the score to 69 overall. The GA-F2A85X-UP4’s UEFI BIOS is rather basic, but it provides all the settings you need and a good selection of overclocking settings. It lets you easily modify processor and memory clock speed and voltages.
Although we’d have liked more USB headers, the GA-F2A85X-UP4 does have a great selection of I/O, graphics ports and PCI Express ports. It’s also easy to overclock and has a comprehensive, if basic, UEFI BIOS. If you need a Trinity motherboard and want the A85X chipset, the Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 is a good choice.
|Processor support||2nd gen Trinity AMD A-series|
|Processor external bus||100MHz|
|Chipset north bridge||AMD A85X|
|Chipset south bridge||AMD A85X|
|Passively-cooled north bridge||yes|
|Supported memory type||DDR3 1066/1333/1600/1800|
|Maximum memory speed||PC3-15000|
|Power connectors||1x 24-pin ATX, 1x8-pin ATX|
|PCI-E x16 slots||2|
|Dual graphics architecture||CrossFire|
|PCI-E x4 slots||0|
|PCI-E x1 slots||3|
|Serial ATA ports||0|
|RAID chipset (max disks)||AMD A85X (RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD)|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100/1000|
|Sound (ports)||Realtek ALC892 (6x analogue out, optical S/PDIF)|
|USB2 ports / headers||6/4|
|Firewire ports / headers||0|
|Legacy ports||PS/2, serial header|
|Other ports||VGA, DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI|
|Cables included||6x SATA|
|Software included||Norton Internet Security 2012 OEM Edition|
Setup and Overclocking
|CPU clock max adjustment||200MHz|