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Which A88X-Based Board Should You Buy For Your Kaveri APU?

Power, Heat, And Efficiency

Noticing that MSI's submission appeared to perform a little more slowly in a couple of benchmarks, I theorized that the board might have been hitting a lower power state between tests. A look at our power charts supports that theory, as the same A88X-G45 that needed more full-load power than the F2A88X-UP4 also needed far less energy when idle.

MSI also has the lowest voltage regulator temperatures, though the hottest motherboard in this comparison—ASRock’s FM2A88X+ Killer—is still fairly cool.

Even though I enabled power-saving features, Asus appears to have devoted its attention to performance. MSI goes after lower power, but takes a slight hit in the benchmark results. Perhaps a balanced approach is most appropriate?

The most average performer, Gigabyte’s F2A88X-UP4, was also the most efficient. It achieved its power advantage not at idle, but at load.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.