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

Author: Josh Walrath
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: Gigabyte

Power and Overclocking


The use of the pricier IR units on the power delivery system should give Gigabyte an advantage when it comes to power usage.  Power was measured from the wall for the PC power supply.  Power from peripherals is not measured.  The PC was let sit for about 10 minutes before idle power was measured and Cinebench R11.529 was used to measure load.

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The Gigabyte board was consistently pulling less power than the Asus board.  This is a small victory for Gigabyte, but two less watts at idle and load is not going to save the user a lot of money over the lifetime of the product.

In terms of overclocking, FM2 is sorta interesting.  The base clock is 100 MHz, and it is PCI-E derived.  This means that the multiplier for the CPU is going to range from 38x to 42x.  FSB overclocking is not as important in many ways to Trinity as it was to earlier products on AM3.  Users can still adjust it to increase the memory speed, but in most cases the Trinity APU running at 1866 speeds is not entirely memory constrained.

The previous Asus board was able to push the A10-5800K to 4.5 GHz at 1.55v.  I was able to match the 4.5 GHz mark, but the Gigabyte board achieved this at 1.5v.  For better or for worse, the first Trinity desktop parts just cannot overclock very well.  With high end water cooling users are getting to 4.7 GHz.  Those running LN2 will obviously get higher, but that is with one module shut down as well as the graphics portion.  Perhaps we will see some more legroom with Richland?  Hard to say.  As it stands, the Gigabyte board is slightly better at overclocking because it requires less voltage to get to the 4.5 GHz mark.

In terms of heat, the board never gets hot at all.  The southbridge cooler does its job very well.  The VRM cooling stays cool to the touch even under load and overclocked.

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 :)

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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 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)


use 2x4GB Kingston Memory with Clock of 1833Mhz

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