Six Socket FM2 Motherboards For AMD's Trinity APUs

Sapphire Pure Platinum A85XT

The first company to offer us a retail-ready motherboard with AMD's A85X FCH, Sapphire presents a couple unusual features on its Pure Platinum A85XT. An open-ended PCIe x4 slot is the most noteworthy change, though the fact that it's up top means you probably won't find a graphics card there. The PCIe x16 slot beneath it loses half of its connectivity to the second x16-length slot whenever a card is installed there.

The Bluetooth controller found on the Pure Platinum A85XT’s I/O panel is an unusual bonus among value-priced motherboards. Similarly unusual is the mini-PCIe x1 slot right in the middle of the Pure Platinum A85XT’s PCB, labeled for both PCIe and mSATA connectivity. One of the chipset’s eight SATA connections is tied up by the slot, reducing the number of standard SATA ports to seven.

Power, reset, and CLR_CMOS buttons along the Pure Platinum A85XT’s bottom edge aren’t unusual, nor is its Port 80 diagnostics display. On the other hand, we're far less accustomed to seeing a BIOS selector switch among those bottom-edge features. We've previously had little luck with auto-switching functionality, so we're ecstatic to find a manual switch on the Pure Platinum A85XT.

It almost appears that Sapphire designed this board to support some degree of form factor modularity. For example, a front-panel audio connector located above the second PCI Express x16 slot suggests a microATX-oriented design. As a result of its placement, you'll have to drag your audio cable up over the top of the board. Fortunately, even if your case suffers from short cable syndrome, it should still reach without a problem.

A bottom-edge USB 3.0 connector is really our only true layout concern. It’s far enough beneath the second graphics card slot to clear most GPU coolers, and far enough beneath the bottom PCI slot to clear most on-card circuits, but its distance from typical front-panel ports is a bit of a stretch for the cables included with some cases.

Anyone who’s unable to use the Pure Platinum A85XT’s front-panel USB 3.0 header with their case’s integrated ports might instead try installing the included 3.5” bay adapter. Failing that, the company also includes a slot bracket for the USB ports. Six internal SATA cables are also included in the Pure Platinum A85XT’s installation kit.

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    Top Comments
  • americanbrian
    Why no GPU OC as has been requested many times? This platform allows easy GPU OC's as mentioned in your previous PD articles.

    You still have never posted your 1GHz+ clocked GPU results.

    I am also upset that you didn't run the gaming benches with the OCed RAM. I want to know how a PROPERLY configured setup like this could perform.

    8% gains approx from going to 1866 over 1600, does higher clocks after this have any effect?

    How does OCing the GPU part limit your CPU clock OCs? or is the heat not too bad ?

    So many questions unanswered....
    14
  • cangelini
    americanbrianWhy no GPU OC as has been requested many times? This platform allows easy GPU OC's as mentioned in your previous PD articles. You still have never posted your 1GHz+ clocked GPU results. I am also upset that you didn't run the gaming benches with the OCed RAM. I want to know how a PROPERLY configured setup like this could perform.8% gains approx from going to 1866 over 1600, does higher clocks after this have any effect?How does OCing the GPU part limit your CPU clock OCs? or is the heat not too bad ? So many questions unanswered....

    These sound like great ideas for a platform-oriented story. In fact, Thomas and I have discussed doing a piece on memory and Trinity. Maybe we could expand that to include an exploration of graphics and processor bottlenecks, too. Thanks for the feedback!
    14
  • cangelini
    I fixed the typo earlier tonight guys, thanks.
    12
  • Other Comments
  • buzznut
    And I would penalize Asrock for the brown PCB. Its an otherwise nice looking board, but this is a trend I don't care for.
    0
  • Cryio
    Why, why do you keep posting Skyrim as being a DirectX11 title? It IS NOT. It's just DX9
    -8
  • Crashman
    CryioWhy, why do you keep posting Skyrim as being a DirectX11 title? It IS NOT. It's just DX9
    Why don't you point to where you see that?
    10
  • Sakkura
    CrashmanWhy don't you point to where you see that?

    Sneaky, lol. Now he's going to be downvoted.
    4
  • Crashman
    SakkuraSneaky, lol. Now he's going to be downvoted.
    Not sneaky, I just see a lot of sniping in here. I checked the article and didn't find it, and I really need to find it before I can gripe at the person who made the final revisions to this article. His comment could be completely false for all I know...
    8
  • cangelini
    I fixed the typo earlier tonight guys, thanks.
    12
  • abbadon_34
    Sounds like someone is owed an apology
    -5
  • Darkerson
    buzznutAnd I would penalize Asrock for the brown PCB. Its an otherwise nice looking board, but this is a trend I don't care for.

    Penalizing a company over a PCB's color is asinine and petty. Even if you have a case with an acrylic window, do you stare into your PC all day and night? If so, that is trend I don't care for.

    There are much more important things to worry about, like quality, price, and features, to name a few...
    5
  • Anonymous
    cangeliniI fixed the typo earlier tonight guys, thanks.

    "Adoby Creative Suite"

    just one?

    :lol:
    who cares, good job to crash and the rest of the crew . . .

    edit: i had to fix a typo . .oh karma!
    7
  • cangelini
    looniam"Adoby Creative Suite"just one? who cares, good job to crash and the rest of the crew . . .edit: i had to fix a typo . .oh karma!

    Heh, apparently, editing motherboard round-ups in a Thanksgiving food coma is not conducive to catching typos. Got that one as well--thanks looniam! :)
    10
  • americanbrian
    Why no GPU OC as has been requested many times? This platform allows easy GPU OC's as mentioned in your previous PD articles.

    You still have never posted your 1GHz+ clocked GPU results.

    I am also upset that you didn't run the gaming benches with the OCed RAM. I want to know how a PROPERLY configured setup like this could perform.

    8% gains approx from going to 1866 over 1600, does higher clocks after this have any effect?

    How does OCing the GPU part limit your CPU clock OCs? or is the heat not too bad ?

    So many questions unanswered....
    14
  • Someone Somewhere
    Is it just me or is there no list of prices for the boards? There's relative price, and some board is worth $25 more than another (which is enough if you want to do half a page of simultaneous equations), but I can't find an actual list.
    0
  • cangelini
    americanbrianWhy no GPU OC as has been requested many times? This platform allows easy GPU OC's as mentioned in your previous PD articles. You still have never posted your 1GHz+ clocked GPU results. I am also upset that you didn't run the gaming benches with the OCed RAM. I want to know how a PROPERLY configured setup like this could perform.8% gains approx from going to 1866 over 1600, does higher clocks after this have any effect?How does OCing the GPU part limit your CPU clock OCs? or is the heat not too bad ? So many questions unanswered....

    These sound like great ideas for a platform-oriented story. In fact, Thomas and I have discussed doing a piece on memory and Trinity. Maybe we could expand that to include an exploration of graphics and processor bottlenecks, too. Thanks for the feedback!
    14
  • silverblue
    Also, a detailed look at the effects of undervolting Trinity. :)
    1
  • silverblue
    buzznutAnd I would penalize Asrock for the brown PCB. Its an otherwise nice looking board, but this is a trend I don't care for.

    Well, in days gone by we'd have had green or gold boards. To be perfectly honest though, unless you're going to have a side window, you're not likely to care about the PCB colour. I'm far more interested in features and performance than the aesthetics, personally.
    7
  • blazorthon
    buzznutAnd I would penalize Asrock for the brown PCB. Its an otherwise nice looking board, but this is a trend I don't care for.


    I thought that the brown PCB meshed decently with the black and grey color scheme utilized by most of the rest of the board. Hey, at least it doesn't look like those ugly low end FoxConn boards :lol:
    5
  • bentonsl_2010
    CrashmanWhy don't you point to where you see that?


    Here is a relevant quote from a randomly-googled article:

    Longtime Elder Scrolls fans hoping Skryim would take full advantage of the PC's strengths: unfortunately we have to disappoint you. Game director Todd Howard says besides higher quality textures and bigger resolutions, it "looks the same" as on consoles, and it's "mostly a DirectX 9 game in terms of how the shaders work."

    He does note DirectX 11 support is a possibility down the line, however: "When it comes to DirectX 11 there are things they get us for free, like performance gains. You’re going to get performance gains out of it versus an older version. But the specifics DX11 does, like tessellation and all that kinda stuff, we aren’t taking advantage of that right now. That doesn’t mean we won’t in the future. We aren’t right now because we want to author it so it looks great.”

    On the bright side, the new engine means Skyrim looks quite lovely as is, just nothing mind-blowing, which it could be. No doubt the modding community will improve the situation before long, though.
    -3
  • blazorthon
    Bentonsl_2010Here is a relevant quote from a randomly-googled article:Longtime Elder Scrolls fans hoping Skryim would take full advantage of the PC's strengths: unfortunately we have to disappoint you. Game director Todd Howard says besides higher quality textures and bigger resolutions, it "looks the same" as on consoles, and it's "mostly a DirectX 9 game in terms of how the shaders work."He does note DirectX 11 support is a possibility down the line, however: "When it comes to DirectX 11 there are things they get us for free, like performance gains. You’re going to get performance gains out of it versus an older version. But the specifics DX11 does, like tessellation and all that kinda stuff, we aren’t taking advantage of that right now. That doesn’t mean we won’t in the future. We aren’t right now because we want to author it so it looks great.”On the bright side, the new engine means Skyrim looks quite lovely as is, just nothing mind-blowing, which it could be. No doubt the modding community will improve the situation before long, though.


    He wasn't asking for proof of what DX is utilized by Skyrim, he was asking where in the article was it claimed that Skyrim used DX11.
    6
  • unempit
    It must be Monday...my first thought was how did they get 6 sockets on one motherboard... :)
    3
  • Onus
    That 16C over ambient on the ASRock board is a little worrisome. That looks like the only real outlier in all the measurements. Was that at stock clocks, or with the OC?
    As far as performance goes, there doesn't appear to be any difference worth noting (which I'd expect).
    1