ASRock A55 Pro3 Reviewtacohunter52 - November 17, 2011
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AMD's budget-friendly Llano chips have been overshadowed by the, somewhat disappointing, release of the Bulldozer FX series. However, this is not to say that the Llano series chips aren't still alive and kicking. In the past, OCC has looked at two different motherboards utilizing the A75 chipset. Both performed fairly well and both made for extremely great budget builds. Today we'll be looking at another motherboard meant for AMD Llano APUs, but this time it is not using an A75 chipset. Instead, OCC will be taking its first look at a board utilizing the A55 chipset.
The board we'll be taking a look at today is the A55 Pro3 from ASRock. Like its older brother, the A75 chipset, the A55 chipset is also able to utilize AMD dual graphics. This means, if you're using an appropriate video card, you'll be able to pair it with your APU for a nice little performance boost. Not only that, but ASRock is claiming that its motherboards are able to offer a 20% performance boost over other A75/A55 boards using AMD dual graphics technology. Not only that, but the ASRock A55 Pro3 is also one of the few A55 boards that supports memory speeds of DDR3 2400+. ASRock is also claiming that its motherboards can score over 5,500, as well as 50% better then competitors, in 3DMark Vantage just using the integrated graphics. However, this was done on one of its A75 boards with an overclock, which makes sense. Anyway, enough with the claims, let's pull this board out of its packaging and find out what it can really do!
Let's start this review off the right way, with the packaging! ASRock took a slightly different approach to the A55 Pro3's packaging than what we're used to. Rather than a bunch of decals and cool graphics, the Pro3 arrived in a fairly bare box. The box was colored to look like brushed aluminum, which turned out pretty cool. The ASRock and A55 Pro3 logos were located directly in the center of the box. Located across the bottom of the box were some decals of key selling points. Flipping the box over reveals a detailed description of the board's key selling points, even the ones that were about A75 boards. The remaining sides of the box follow the same color scheme and feature the ASRock A55 Pro3 logo.
Upon opening the ASRock A55 Pro3's packaging, you'll find the included accessories and manuals. Located underneath the manuals and accessories is the ASRock A55 Pro3 motherboard, nice and snug in an antistatic bag.
So what exactly comes with this motherboard? For starters, you'll receive a setup guide and a user's manual. Located inside the user's manual is the driver CD. You'll also receive two leaflets on the ASRock A55 Pro3's features, as well as some SATA cables and an I/O Shield.
Now that we've gotten everything unpacked, let's take a close look at the A55 Pro3!