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Asus F2A85-M review

Katharine Byrne
25 Mar 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
56
inc VAT

A decent range of features, but this motherboard is a little too expensive

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Specifications

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

The Asus F2A85-M is a microATX FM2 motherboard for AMD’s second generation of A series Trinity processors. It uses AMD's latest chipset, the A85X, so has a great range of expansion ports and slots. Surprisingly, it's also very-well priced.

Asus F2A85-M

There are two PCI-E x16 slots, which you can use with dual graphics cards in CrossfireX mode. However, while one of the slots runs at the full x16 speed, the second slot just runs at x8 speed. You'd get better overall graphics performance with two x8 slots if you wanted to install more than one graphics card. The motherboard's single PCI-E x1 slot will become obscured if you install a graphics card, but there’s still a legacy PCI slot that's always free for older cards.

Asus F2A85-M

We were pleased with the range of expansion options. The F2A85-M has two USB3 and four USB ports on the back panel, and three USB and one USB3 header, giving you a total option of 14 USB ports if you add more using your case or blanking plates. In addition, you get a legacy PS/2 port, one eSATA connection, a Gigabit Ethernet port and an optical S/PDIF output with 6x analogue audio jacks for 7.1 surround sound.

There are also the usual VGA, DVI-D and HDMI graphics outputs, all of which can be used by the CPU's graphics chip at the same time. This means you can run up to three monitors without having to touch an external graphics card.

At this price, we wouldn't expect anything less than SATA3 support, and we were pleased to see it has eight SATA3 ports for your hard disks and SSDs. This gives you plenty of room for tons of storage, plus the bandwidth to use a modern SSD.

Asus F2A85-M

As you'd expect, there are four DDR3 DIMM memory slots that can support up to a maximum of 64GB of RAM at a maximum speed of 2,400MHz when overclocked.

We were pleased with the F2A75-M's performance, as our AMD A10-5800K processor and 4GB of 1600MHz DDR3 scored 64 overall in our benchmark tests. This is exactly what we’d expect to see from an A10-5800K. Should you want to get more out of the processor, Asus' excellent UEFI BIOS makes it very easy to overclock.

The Asus F2A85-M is a good FM2 motherboard with decent performance at a great price. However, the Gigabyte F2A85XM-D3H costs around the same, has the same range of features and did slightly better in our benchmarks making it the better buy.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
Processor socketFM2
Form factormicroATX
Size244x244mm
Processor supportAMD 2nd gen A-series
Processor external bus100MHz (HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridgeAMD A85X
Chipset south bridgeAMD A85X
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsYes
Supported memory typeDDR3
Maximum memory speedPC3-19200
Memory slots4
Maximum memory64GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£56
Supplierhttp://www.scan.co.uk
Detailswww.asus.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots2
Dual graphics architectureCrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots1
PCI slots1
Fan headers3
Floppy ports0
IDE ports0
Serial ATA ports0
RAID chipset (max disks)AMD A85X (RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD)

Features

Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC887 (optical S/PDIF, 6x analogue)
USB2 ports / headers6/4
Firewire ports / headers0/0
Legacy portsPS/2
Other ports2x USB3, 1x eSATA, HDMI, DVI, VGA
Cables included2x SATA
Brackets includednone
Software includednone

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment300MHz

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