Gigabyte F2A85XM-D3H review

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
60
inc VAT

Excellent value, great performance and tons of expansion make this a brilliant FM2 motherboard

Specifications

FM2, microATX, AMD A85X chipset, supports: AMD 2nd gen A-series

The F2A85XM-D3H is one of Gigabyte’s latest FM2 motherboards, and it supports AMD’s Trinity processors and uses the high-end A85X chipset, while still being excellent value.

Gigabyte F2A85XM-D3H

As you'd expect from one of AMD's latest chipsets, the F2A85XM-D3H is packed full of the latest features. You'll find that all eight of the SATA connectors are SATA3 ports, so you'll be able to get the fastest speed out of an SSD and make your computer boot as quickly as possible. Eight SATA ports also means that there's plenty of room to connect more storage than you'll ever likely need.

We're pleased to say that USB3 is supported, with two ports on the rear of the motherboard. With a USB3 header, too, you can increase this by connecting up USB3 ports from your case, or just adding a blanking plate. In addition there are four USB ports at the rear and two additional USB headers for adding more ports.

Gigabyte F2A85XM-D3H

The back panel also has a PS/2 port, an optical S/PDIF out connector and three 3.5mm audio outputs. These support 5.1 channels of audio, but if you use the motherboard's header to connect front-panel audio outputs, you can get 7.1 channels of audio.

The processor's onboard graphics are supported by VGA, DVI-D and HDMI ports. All of them can be used together, so you can run three monitors from the onboard graphics. This gives you flexibility in the number and types of monitors that you want to connect.

There are two PCI-E x16 slots for discrete graphics, which can be used in CrossfireX mode. The first slot runs at x16 speed, while the second slot runs at just x4 speed. We'd have preferred them to share bandwidth equally, so that they run at x8 speed when used together.

Gigabyte F2A85XM-D3H

There are lots of expansion options, including four DDR3 DIMM memory slots for a maximum of 64GB of RAM. There’s also a single PCI-E x1 slot, but this gets blocked if you install a graphics card. There's also a single PCI slot for expansion, which isn't blocked by other cards.

With an AMD A10-5800K processor and 4GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 RAM, our benchmarks returned a score of 66 overall. This is around what we’d expect from an A10-5800K. Should you want to push your processor further, the UEFI BIOS has full overclocking control, although its unintuitive interface makes this a little trickier than on other motherboards.

The Gigabyte F2A85XM-D3H is a great FM2 motherboard with tons of features. Given its incredibly low price, we can forgive any minor flaws. If you want a Trinity processor, this motherboard is a great companion for it and it wins a Best Buy award.

Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor socket FM2
Form factor microATX
Size 244x244mm
Processor support AMD 2nd gen A-series
Processor external bus 100MHz (HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridge AMD A85X
Chipset south bridge AMD A85X
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics Yes
Supported memory type DDR3
Maximum memory speed PC3-15000
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 64GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £60
Supplier http://www.amazon.co.uk
Details www.giga-byte.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 2
Dual graphics architecture CrossFire
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 1
PCI slots 1
Fan headers 3
Floppy ports 0
IDE ports 0
Serial ATA ports 0
RAID chipset (max disks) AMD A85X (RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD)

Features

Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC887 (optical S/PDIF, 3x analogue)
USB2 ports / headers 6/3
Firewire ports / headers 0/0
Legacy ports 1x PS/2
Other ports 2x USB3
Cables included 4x SATA
Brackets included none
Software included Norton Internet Security (OEM)

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment 790MHz

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