ASUS F2A85-V PRO Motherboard Reviewformerstaff -
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When I reviewed the Trinity A series with the A85X platform a couple weeks ago I was really quite taken with it. You can pair a $120 APU with $135 A85X chipset board and do things like run three monitors, add graphics as you need or want, and in the meantime have a machine that will do just about anything you want it to do with tremendous versatility and upgradability. This week I am even more impressed with the platform that I have got to try the result of ASUS getting its hands on the A85X chipset or Fusion Control Hub. The Digi+Power is brilliant at delivering precise power to the components, lowering the heat, and raising efficiency. I ran some load tests and generated charts on the CPU v-core with the LLC set to minimum and found the digital power to have had the effect on voltage control and ripple levels to be very good.
When you step into the list of features and start moving through the BIOS, if you didn't know the price you would think you were working with a very high-end motherboard. Actually that starts when you are installing the motherboard that is littered with onboard buttons that will take you directly to the BIOS, enable and disable energy saving, boost your GPU, update the BIOS while the machine is off or sleeping, or take care of a memory issue on the fly. The only minor feature missing on the FM2A85-V PRO is just that, minor. The Clear CMOS is done via an old school jumper pin setup rather than an onboard button. Not a deal breaker by any stretch, just a bit unusual these days
You can see the forethought that has gone into the platform by making it add-on ready, but not leave you with a bunch of stuff you don't need right now. Things like being able to run three monitors in Eyefinity from the motherboard and 16GB memory module ready (when they are released). You have your choice of the very capable on-die integrated graphics or dual graphics or even Crossfire down the road. The A85-V PRO also supports Lucid's VirtuMVP Virtualization Technologies, which improves video playback and makes video rendering more efficient by using a predictive algorithm to solve potential synchronization issues.
You also get some enthusiast features with the very stable digital power that has shown to be very overclock friendly for both the CPU and GPU sides of the die, and eight SATA 6Gb/s ports. Equally impressive is ASUS' software suite in the form of Ai Suite II, TurboV Evo, and the UEFI BIOS, which is simply the best on the market and affords control of everything from anywhere. I said this on page one but I think It bears repeating as this is a low cost computing solution with some very high end features. ASUS has obviously spent a lot of time and development on the softwares that come with its hardware and with all of that control and access it gives you the latitude to try an overclock from any angle you wish, or by making life easy with the auto tune.
I have actually made practical use of this platform in my home and have exercised a great many of its features with plans to grow into even more of them. Paired with what has become very familiar ASUS quality, it has a top-end version of the A series top end chipset. ASUS has really taken the great 85X Trinity platform and made it the pinnacle of control, quality, and versatility.
- Upgradable to the extreme
- Good looking board
- Good overclocking abilities and amenities
- Run three monitors from the board
- Best software in the market
- Onboard access
- Power saving features
- Runs cool
- Overall feature set
- Supports Lucid VirtuMVP