Subject: Motherboards | January 9, 2013 - 07:39 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, micro ATX, mATX, fm2, ces 2013, CES, APU, amd, a85xma-p33
MSI announced a new micro ATX motherboard at CES this week. Aimed at supporting AMD’s APUs, the MSI A85XMA-P33 is a socket FM2 motherboard that is replacing the company’s existing A75MA-P33 motherboard. The new A85XMA-P33 is nearly identical to the previous board, but it uses AMD’s A85X chipset rather than the A75.
The A85XMA-P33 features the FM2 socket, two DDR3 DIMM slots, and six SATA 6 Gbps ports. It also has one legacy PCI slot, one PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot, and a single PCI-E 2.0 x1 slot.
Rear IO on the micro ATX motherboard includes two PS/2 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports (plus an additional 2 via motherboard header), three (6 channel) audio jacks, and a gigabit Ethernet port. Display outputs include a single DVI and a single VGA connector.
Other features include a five phase VRM and a UEFI BIOS. No official pricing has been announced yet, but you can expect it to be around the $70 mark. MSI has posted more photos and specifications on its website.
Read more about micro ATX motherboards at PC Perspective.
PC Perspective's CES 2013 coverage is sponsored by AMD.
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Subject: General Tech | October 23, 2012 - 06:50 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trinity, motherboard, mATX, gigabyte, fm2, APU
Gigabyte recently unveiled a low-cost micro ATX form factor motherboard for Trinity APUs called the F2A75M-HD2. The motherboard is aimed at low cost home theater and small form factor builds using AMD’s Trinity APUs. It measures 225 x 174 mm and offers up a number of features despite the small size. The board itself features the FM2 processor socket, two DDR3 DIMM slots (up to 32GB DDR3 1866Mhz), and a 5-phase VRM feeding the APU power. It also features Gigabyte’s dual BIOS chip technology and a UEFI BIOS.
Internal I/O includes one PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot, one PCI-E 2.0 x1 slot, and one legacy PCI slot. Four SATA III 6Gbps ports are available, and the A75 chipset supports RAID 0, 1, and 10. Two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 headers are also available on the board for expansion.
Rear I/O of the Gigabyte F2A75M-HD2 motherboard includes:
- 2 x USB 3.0
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x VGA
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 3 x Analog audio jacks
- 1 x PS/2 port
- 1 x Gigabit Ethernet jack
While no specific availability date or MSRP was announced, you can expect this micro ATX Trinity-powered motherboard to be available soon for around $70 USD.
Read more about Gigabyte's FM2 motherboard lineup at PC Perspective.
Subject: Motherboards | October 3, 2012 - 02:52 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trinity, motherboard, gigabyte, fm2, APU
AMD’s latest Trinity APUs launched yesterday, and with that Gigabyte launched its flagship socket FM2 motherboard, the GA-F2A85X-UP4. This board was shown off earlier this year, but now we have all the details. This motherboard is packed with all the Gigabyte technology you would expect from an enthusiast board, and some of the more interesting features include the Ultra Durable 5 capacitors, a digital PWM array, single package IR3550 PowIRStage ICs, and dual APU clock generators to push overclocking of non-K edition processors as far as possible – at least in theory. Also interesting is the inclusion of Lucid’s Virtu MVP GPU virtualization technology, two EFI BIOS chips, switchable graphics, and the ability to crossfire certain 6000-series discrete graphics cards with the GPU in the Trinity APU.
Internal connectivity options include the FM2 socket, four DDR3 DIMM slots (up to 64GB @ 1866MHz), seven SATA 6Gbps ports, one eSATA 6Gbps port, and support for RAID O, 1, 5, 10, and JBOD. Furter, the GA-F2A85X-UP4 supports three PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots. The first slot runs at x16 or x8 if there are two GPUs installed. The second and third slots run at x8 and x4 respectively. Gigabyte has also included three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots for sounds and networking cards.
Internal IO headers include one CPU fan, four system fans, one S/PDIF, one USB 3.0, four USB 2.0, one serial, one clear CMOS, and one TPM.
Rear I/O on the flagship Trinity motherboard includes:
- 1 x PS/2
- 1 x VGA
- 1 x DVI
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x DisplayPort
- 1 x S/PDIF
- 4 x USB 3.0
- 2 x USB 2.0
- 1 x eSATA
- 1 x RJ45
- 6 x analog audio jacks
This board is packing a lot of hardware, and the price is right around $130 depending on the retailer. The GA-F2A85X-UP4 is available now. Interestingly Gigabyte has also announced the F2A85XM-D3H based on the same A85X chipset as the flagship F2-A85X-UP4 as well as some lower tier motherboards based on the A75 and A55 chipsets with new FM2 sockets. Unfortunately, these motherboards do not appear to be available yet. If you are interested in those boards (which should cost less), keep an eye out for the F2A75M-D3H, and F2A55M-HD2 – or simply watch PC Perspective’s homepage of course!
In the meantime, you can find more photos of the GA-F2A85X-UP4 on Gigabyte's website.
Subject: General Tech | September 20, 2012 - 02:57 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: podcast, gtx 660, gtx 650, 660ti, lucid, dynamix, a85, gigabyte, fm2, trinity
PC Perspective Podcast #219 - 09/20/2012
Join us this week as we talk about the NVIDIA GTX 660 and 650, Luicid Dynamix technology, A85 Motherboards and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Josh Walrath, Jeremy Hellstrom, and Allyn Malvantano
Program length: 1:13:13
Podcast topics of discussion:
- Week in Reviews:
- 0:18:18 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
News items of interest:
- 0:19:10 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650
- 0:22:20 Trinity APUs to be binned as CPU only?
- 0:24:50 Lucid Dynamix adjusts quality in real-time
- 0:32:30 ASUS Skills Challenge contest
- 0:34:40 Intel NUC PCs coming soon
- 0:37:15 You missed our Borderlands 2 event Tuesday!
- 0:38:10 OCZ CEO heads out the door
- 0:44:10 Gigabyte A85 motherboard spotted
- 0:47:30 AMD Sea Island 8800 series leaks
- 0:51:35 ASUS Tablet pricing leaks
- 0:54:15 Helium in upcoming hard drives
- 0:58:05 Intel WiDi 3.5 with Miracast Launched
- 1-888-38-PCPER or firstname.lastname@example.org
- http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
Subject: Motherboards | September 17, 2012 - 11:09 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: trinity, piledriver, fm2, amd, A85X, a10
Gigabyte lit the social media fuse and showed off some of the first pictures of one of the A85X based motherboards. A85X is the successor to the original FM1 A75 chipset, and it had a rather robust featureset for a "budget" oriented chipset. The original A75 was paired with the Llano APU, otherwise known as the A8/A6/A4 APU from AMD. The A85 is pin compatible with the A75, but it offers two more SATA 6 ports than the previous unit. Both share 14 USB ports, four of which are USB 3.0
The board overall looks nice and robust. The black PCB and accoutrements make it seem like it is a mean board. There are 4 USB 3.0 ports on the back and a header for front panel USB 3.0. All eight SATA 6 ports are used on the board, six + one on the board and one e-SATA. We do not know all the details about the power delivery system, but it looks like it is using a variant of what we saw with the latest Z77 boards from Gigabyte. Good stuff, Mainerd.
October certainly looks to be the month that Trinity arrives. Everyone is very curious how it will perform against the latest Ivy Bridge processors from Intel. While AMD still has a GPU advantage, it is slowly shrinking. Now we wonder how well the CPU part will perform and how much power it will pull. Stay tuned, gentle readers...
Subject: Processors | September 13, 2012 - 01:03 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trinity, fm2, cpu, athlon, APU, AMD A series, amd, a75
NVIDIA’s new Kepler graphics cards (such as the GTX 660 we recently reviewed) will be getting most of the PC enthusiast attention today, but there is a bit of news about AMD to talk about as well.
The Trinity APU die.
Thanks to a Gigabyte motherboard compatibility list that was accidentally leaked to the internet, it was revealed that Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) would be repurposing Trinity APU dies that don’t quite make the cut due to non-operative graphics cores. Instead of simply discarding the processors, AMD is going to bin the chips into at least three CPU-only Athlon-branded processors. The Athlon X4 730, X4 740, and X4 750K are the three processors that are (now) public knowledge. All three of the CPUs have TDP ratings of 65W, and the X4 750K is even unlocked – allowing for overclocking. Further, the processors are all quad core parts with a total of 4MB of L2 cache (1MB per core).
The new Athlon-branded processors will be supported by the A75 chipset and will plug into FM2-socket equipped motherboards.
The following chart details the speeds and feeds of the Athlon processors with Trinity CPU cores.
|Athlon X4 730||2.8GHz||65W|
|Athlon X4 740||3.2GHz||65W|
|Athlon X4 750K||3.4GHz||65W|
Unfortunately, there is no word on pricing or availability. You can expect them to be significantly cheaper than the fully fledged Trinity processors to keep them price-competitive and in-line with the company's traditional CPU-only processors.
Would you consider rolling a Trinity-based Athlon in a budget build?
Read about the new direction of AMD as it moves to producing Vishera processors and beyond.
Subject: General Tech | July 13, 2012 - 01:31 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: amd, trinity, fm2, A10-5800k
After launching the mobile version of Trinity, AMD let desktop users know that they could expect to see Socket FM2 processors released in the summer. That may no longer be the case according to a report that DigiTimes heard about which puts the timeline closer to October. Even worse, this delay is due to them making some changes to the processors design which hints at all sorts of horrible possibilities of which the best you can hope is that they are having yield problems. Hoping that AMD just wants to see existing stock of Llano processors sold makes little sense, none of the major tech companies seems to feel any regret at pushing out new designs over top of old ones no matter how much stock currently exists.
Worth noting is that in October, assuming we do see Trinity launch, AMD will have current generation chips and motherboards using AM3, AM3+ (Vishera), FM1 (Llano), FM2 (Trinity) and FT1 (Brazos 2.0). To say that this is going to confuse customers is an understatement.
"AMD has reportedly postponed the launch of its Trinity processors for desktop platforms from August to October in order to make some adjustments to the processors' designs. Downstream motherboard makers are also rushing to make adjustments to their new motherboard projects set to release in the second half, according to sources from motherboard makers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Apple's EPEAT withdrawal underscores disposable ethos @ The Tech Report
- Acer halves PC sales estimates and cautions over Windows 8 @ The Inquirer
- AMD slips modest speed bump into 'Abu Dhabi' Opterons @ The Register
- 'Extreme' solar storm speeding straight towards Earth @ The Register
- Windows 8: How to Bypass Metro and Boot Directly to the Desktop Interface @ Techspot
- Ninjalane Podcast - Heatsink Design is More Mass Better The Slate and Windows 8
- Toshiba Talks Storage: HDD, SSD, NAND Flash, Hybrid @ X-bit Labs
Subject: Motherboards | June 5, 2012 - 06:40 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trinity, msi, htpc, fm2, computex, amd
Located at Booth L0810 in Nangang Hall 4F, MSI is showing off a tong of new hardware. One of the interesting displays is a wall of new motherboards based on AMD’s desktop Trinity APUs. Using the company’s Hybrid Digital Power design, the FM2 socket-based motherboards come in three sizes: EATX, ATX, and mini-ITX to meet various project needs.
MSI's Trinity display at Computex 2012. Source: MSI
The smallest of the bunch is the MSI A85IA-E53 motherboard, which is designed for HTPC use. Based on AMD’s A75 chipset, the mini-ITX board features an AMD FM2 socket in the middle, with two DDR3 DIMM slots (a maximum of 16GB of memory) below, a single PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot to the left, and four SATA 6Gbps ports to the right of the FM2 socket.
Rear IO on the board includes a combo PS/2 port, optical audio (TOSLink) output, VGA and HDMI video outputs, three eSATA ports, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit LAN port, and analog audio out via three 3.5mm jacks. The motherboard also features integrated WiFi and Bluetooth radios. Built with the company’s military class III components, the A85IA-E53 comes packed with the ClickBIOS II, OC Genie II, and support for HD7000 series graphics cards.
MSI has two mid-sized ATX form factor motherboards with the the MSI A55M-P33 (F2) and MSI A85MA-35. The former is intended for traditional desktop use cases while the latter is rather shallow in depth and is meant to be used in living room HTPCs.
MSI A55M-P33 (F2)
The MSI A55M-P33 (F2) is the company’s budget desktop motherboard. It supports OC Genie II and ClickBIOS II technologies as well as AMD Dual Graphics which allows the pairing of a Trinity APU integrated graphics card and discrete AMD GPU. In adition to the FM2 socket, the board features two DDR3 DIMM slots (maximum of 16GB of 1866MHz memory), four SATA 3Gbps ports, one PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot, one PCI-E 2.0 x1 slot, and one legacy PCI slot.
This motherboard is actually based on the AMD A55 chipset which explains the lack of 6Gbps ports and USB 3.0 support. The company describes the board as the “value choice” for those upgrading to a new Trinity-based system. Rear IO on the A55M-P33 (F2) includes eight USB 2.0 ports, six 3.5mm jacks for analog audio output, Gigabit Ethernet, and DVI and VGA display outputs.
The second ATX motherboard is the MSI A85MA-E35. This motherboard has been designed wider and shallower than traditional desktop ATX boards so that it can fit into slim HTPC cases (that usually have more room longways than height-wise as they need to be able to fit into AV racks and other short spaces). It is essentially the mATX A85IA-E53’s big brother as it takes the AMD A75 chipset and takes advantage of the larger PCB area to add additional functionality. The motherboard features MSI’s OC Genie II and ClickBIOS II technology and AMD’s Dual Graphics support for pairing a dedicated GPU with the Trinity APU’s graphics portion.
The board is rather spaced out as the PCB is stretched out to keep things as shallow as possible. It does feature two DDR3 DIMM slots (maximum of 16GB 1866MHz RAM), the AMD FM2 processor socket, one PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot, two PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, and one legacy PCI slot. The only motheboard component with a heatsink attached is the southbridge, which is powering six SATA ports, at least four of which are 6Gbps (MSI only lists four 6Gbps ports in the documentation, seen above and to the right of the board [TechPowerUp indicates that all six are 6Gbps, however]). Rear IO includes four USB 3.0 ports, six analog audio out jacks, Gigabit LAN, and what is likely a PS/2 port and optical audio output.
Finally, the FM2 motherboard to rule them all (or at least the company’s AMD lineup) is the MSI A85XA-G65. The board comes packed with MSI technology including Military Class III components, OC Genie II, ClickBIOS II, Hybrid Design Power, THX TruStuio Pro, AMD Dual Graphics (APU+discrete card), AMD CrossFire, NVIDIA SLI, and AMD Eyefinity.
In other words, MSI has bolted just about everything it could to this board. They confidently labeled the motherboard as the board for enthusiasts to use to push Trinity overclocks as far as possible. The first thing I noticed about the image (seen below) of the A85XA-G65 was the massive heatsinks on the VRMs and southbridge – did I mention they were huge? In addition to the well-cooled VRMs, the motherboard features four DDR3 DIMM slots (max of 32GB 1866MHz RAM), two PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots, three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, and two legacy PCI slots towards the bottom of the board. To the right is the southbridge (with relatively large heatsink) powering eight SATA 6Gbps ports.
The A85XA-G65 supports DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, and VGA video outputs. Beyond that, rear IO includes a combo PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit LAN, six 3.5mm jacks for multi-channel analog audio outputs, and an optical audio output. If you want to push desktop Trinity to the max, this board definitely seems like a good place to start.
MSI has definitely come out in full force with a slew of AMD Trinity motherboards. The HTPC ones, and the mini-ITX one in particular, interest me. The beastly A85XA-G65 is also pretty neat for overclocking potential. Stay tuned to PC Perspective for more Computex 2012 coverage! What do you guys want to see from the show? You can see a few more photos after the break.
Subject: Motherboards, Shows and Expos | June 5, 2012 - 01:06 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Z77, x79, trinity, sandy bridge-e, PLX PEX 8747, Ivy Bridge, Intel, fm2, asrock, amd
Four new Intel motherboards from ASRock were revealed at Computex, the X79 Extreme11, Z77 Extreme9 and Z77 OC Formula. All use their new XFast 555 Technology software for XFast RAM, XFast LAN and XFast USB which should at the very least allow you great control over all the frequencies on your motherboard.
The motherboard for power users supports Sandy Bridge E processors, the X79 Extreme11 sports PLX PEX 8747 bridges which means this motherboard can run multi-GPU 4-Way SLI/CrossFireX at PCIe Gen3 x16/x16/x16/x16 and puts EVGA's Classified SR-2 in serious trouble on the Leaderboard when released. 24 + 2 Power Phase Design, onboard Creative Sound Core3D and an LSI SAS2308 chip which gives you ten SATA3 connectors with 8 of the able to be set to SAS mode.
The Z77 Extreme9 also sports the PLX PEX 8747 bridge which allows a surprising full PCIe Gen3 x8/x8/x8/x8 quad GPU mode. The included T2R Dual Band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n + BT v4.0 Module supports dual band WiFi and BlueTooth and combines with the Wi-SB BOX to provide better signal and an extra pair of USB 3.0 connectors.
The Z77 OC Formula wants to step on ASUS' toes; while the score is impressive, the overclocks need a little work. They don't say much about this board but from the preliminary testing it looks like great fun for the serious overclocker.
Last but not least is the Z77 Extreme6/TB4 which features four channel Thunderbolt, for that you can read two Thunderbolt ports. ASRock mentions that this "allows one port to be connected to the onboard graphics and the other one can be used for discrete graphics card." which could lead to all sorts of speculation.
On the AMD side we have the ATX FM2A75 Pro4, and microATX FM2A75 Pro4-M and FM2A75M-DG which support Trinity processors but unfortunately we don't have much more than their names. TechPowerUp did get some pictures of the boards recently.
They are also showing the EN2C602-4L, E3C204-V, E3C204-4L and H77WS-DL server boards which come with a full suite of software to ensure an easy setup, an IPC motherboard for those small purpose-built applications and an intriguing HTPC box called the ASRock VisionX Series. This is reputed to featuring Ivy Bridge, Radeon HD 7850M graphics and AMD HD3D Technology with dual band WiFi but might cost a bit more than the alternative, the ASRock MINI Series which has and AMD E2-1800 backed up by a Radeon HD7340.
Subject: Motherboards | June 1, 2012 - 10:06 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: trinity, motherboard, fm2, ECS, desktop, a85f2-a
Taiwan-based motherboard maker ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) recently announced an ATX form factor motherboard based on the AMD A85X chipset. The most exciting feature is that this motherboard uses the AMD FM2 CPU socket, and it is ready to accept desktop Trinity processors!
The A85F2-A Deluxe motherboard comes equipped with two PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots for CrossfireX mutli-GPU setups, three PCI-E 2.0 x1 slots, and two legacy PCI slots. With four DDR3 DIMM slots, the board can support up to 64GB of memory. It further supports memory up to 2300MHz (officially). It also features seven 6Gb/s SATA ports with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 support.
External expansion (rear IO) includes six USB 3.0 ports, eight USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit LAN, and an eSATA connector. The A85F2-A Deluxe also features HDMI, DVI, and VGA video outputs as well as 8 channel analog audio.
On the software side of things, the motherboard has GUI uEFI BIOS, ECS MIB X, and support for multiple languages. The FM2 socket based motherboard also comes bundled with Norton AntiVirus, Muzee, Cyberlink Media Suite, and ECS iEZ (which is the driver and BIOS update (and fan control) utility.
The board has undergone numerous in-house tests (though be sure to also check out independent reviews), and has been rated ECS Nonstop Certified. The company also includes gold plated contacts and solid capacitors with the motherboard. It has also been rated for ESD protection on the VGA, USB, LAN, and HDMI ports.
The Trinity processor is the best part about the motherboard, however as it enables several new technologies including up to four displays, AMD Turbo Core 3, Open CL 1.1, and hardware video decoding with AMD’s UVD engine.
In addition to the A85F2-A Deluxe, ECS will also be releasing four other FM2 socket based motherboards including the A75F2-A2, A75F2-M2, A55F2-A2, and A55F2-M3. Unfortunately, there is no word yet on pricing or availability. Expect to see more details on these boards soon (possibly at Computex 2012?).