Review Index:
Feedback

Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 FM2 Motherboard Review: Overkill for Trinity?

Author: Josh Walrath
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte

Installation, Impressions, and Setup

 

Installation and Impressions

The board was a breeze to install.  Updating the BIOS was again very easy within the BIOS.  Downloading the BIOS image to a USB flash stick is all it takes anymore.  Even if a user somehow destroys the BIOS image being copied over, Gigabyte has been using dual BIOS solutions to make sure that a bad flash is easy to recover from.

View Full Size

We see the Realtek audio codec somewhat isolated and surrounded by solid caps.  It features sound that is good enough for most users, but certainly is not audiophile quality.

Hardware placement was also very easy.  Once the board was attached to the case, it was easy to route all cables where needed and any other video card installation went without problem.  There is adequate space around the CPU socket, but it is a little tight when considering how close the memory is.  This is a universal problem with both AMD and Intel processors, and the cooling guys have figured out ways to get around tight spacing constraints.

The four fan headers are strategically placed around the board so they can service the different fans throughout the case.  In terms of components, all of the hardware is really top quality.  They advertise Japanese polymer caps and other high end components which make up the “Ultra Durable 5” specification.

 

Setup

The FM2 socket supports the latest AMD Trinity based processors.  This particular board can handle every current Trinity processor from the A4 to the A10 series.  The top end processor is the A10-5800K, but we can safely assume that the upcoming “Richland” APUs will work perfectly fine in this particular board with a BIOS update.

View Full Size

Here we have the primary I/O area.  The seventh SATA 6G port is at the bottom, which keeps it from being covered by graphics cards.  Note as well the USB 3.0 front panel header.

I did all tests without a standalone video card.  The graphics portion of the Trinity APU is pretty robust and can handle a wide variety of games at medium quality and playable resolutions.  I left the native resolution at 1280x1024, and it was able to handle quite a few games at high quality levels at that resolution.

I compared the Gigabyte board against the Asus F2A85M-Pro.  Both parts are A85X based and are around the same overall price.  The A10-5800K was used for performance testing and overclocking.

View Full Size

We see the three buttons on the baord very clearly here.  These are more handy for open air test benches than when installed in a case.  There is a fair amount of space around the memory slots and CPU socket.

Common Components

AMD A10-5800K APU @ 3.8 GHz

Corsair TX750W Rev. 2 Power Supply

2 x 4GB GSkill DDR-3 1866 @ 9.10.9.28 timings

1TB WD Caviar Black 7200 RPM HD

Lite-On DVD R/RW

Coolermaster CM690 II Advanced Case

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit Edition

Catalyst 13.1 WHQL Drivers

February 15, 2013 | 08:55 PM - Posted by Sandy Bruce (not verified)

Nice board for FM2. One of the best I have seen. Good job Gigabyte. No AMD you need to make a monster chip for the FM2 socket. Maybe drop the Gpu part and pack more cores. a 6 core fm2 would be sweet

February 15, 2013 | 11:25 PM - Posted by orvtrebor

I think a Matx version with similar features and a slightly lower price tag would have made more sense.

Full Atx for an apu is hard to understand.

But I do like it overall, just too bad Trinity really can't take advantage of anything in the OC department.

February 16, 2013 | 05:01 AM - Posted by jedibeeftrix (not verified)

nice board, hopefully it will work with kaveri.

February 18, 2013 | 01:47 AM - Posted by theone2030

Looks like a good and solid motherboard but i lean more towards Asus plus if you get the F2A85-V PRO FM2 AMD A85X you also receive a bonus Razer Kraken pro headset ! id say thats a sweet deal :)http://event.asus.com/au/2013/FM2/

February 19, 2013 | 10:22 PM - Posted by gordenweb

This is what I plan on using on my next build. Love Gigabyte...
Gorden Web Design

March 8, 2013 | 07:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No numbers? That makes this a sort of "general opinion" review?
Kind of like.. well...I like this one sort of better than that one?
Very strange.
I "kind of" wish I had the 5 minutes back.

March 8, 2013 | 09:04 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I see multiple benchmark pages in the review... are you not seeing them?

November 16, 2013 | 12:02 AM - Posted by howard (not verified)

I recently purchased one of these boards. The POST screen that is supposed to show on boot up is not visible. All we see is a black screen until the the message "Starting Windows" come on. After several attempts at entering the Bios program I did a bad thing. I tried to reset the bios using the bios reset button. The computer will not boot at all. So I wound up contacting the vendor. They sent me a new board. This one does the same thing. The screen that prompts to hit Del to enter setup never shows up.

Has anyone else experienced this ? If so what can I do?

December 13, 2013 | 10:53 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

as seen on a forum, just use a VGA cable to enter the bios, it appears that with hdmi the bios is not visible sometimes.

but i didn't test it myself.

a french guy trying to speak english ;)

December 20, 2013 | 06:31 PM - Posted by Mike D. (fadingbeleifs) (not verified)

I have this board with a A8 5600K APU, 3.6 GHz, 3.9GHz stock...im running rock solid stable @ 4.1GHz, 4.7GHz. i have a corsair H60 water cooler and 12GGB od corsair DDR3 1333MHz, radeon HD 7770 GHz edition, win7 HP x64, 1TB HDD, havent had any problems with it, been putting it thru the ringer for almost a year now, the board's bullet proof...the apu isnt bad either...awesome buy, and a new found love for gigabyte products

December 24, 2013 | 03:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Stopped by to check it out and found the aricle infomative enough for me to get the mb. Unfortunately some of the people commenting sound like they are as old as I am and quit learning a few years back. Thanks for rhe info.
David Leo Rice

January 5, 2014 | 12:25 PM - Posted by bgchip (not verified)

Just bought GA-F2A85X-UP4 mobo. What memory should I buy for it? Anybody recommend where I should buy it?

January 5, 2014 | 12:26 PM - Posted by bgchip (not verified)

Just bought GA-F2A85X-UP4 mobo. What memory should I buy for it? Anybody recommend where I should buy it? Thank you

January 10, 2014 | 07:01 AM - Posted by Esson (not verified)

@bgchip

use 2x4GB Kingston Memory with Clock of 1833Mhz

visit our Website at http://windoors.ph

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <blockquote><p><br>
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.