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


BIOS Frequency and Voltage settings (for overclocking)
ASRock FM2A88X+ KillerAsus A88X-ProGigabyte F2A88X-UP4MSI A88X-G45 Gaming
Reference Clock100-136 MHz (1 MHz)80-300 MHz (1 MHz)100-200 MHz (1 MHz)90-190 MHz (0.1 MHz)
CPU Multiplier14-63x (1x)8-63x (1x)8-79x (1x)8-63x (1x)
DRAM Data Rates800-2400 (266.6 MHz)800-2400 (266.6 MHz)800-2400 (266.6 MHz)800-2400 (266.6 MHz)
CPU Vcore0.60-1.55V (6.25 mV)0.80-1.90V (6.25 mV)0.80-2.30V (6.25 mV)-0.10 to +0.50 (10 mV)
CPU NB0.60-1.55V (6.25 mV)0.80-1.75V (6.25 mV)0.80-2.10V (6.25 mV)-0.10 to +0.50 (10 mV)
A88X Voltage1.10-1.40V (10 mV)1.10-1.40V (100 mV)1.00-1.50V (10 mV)1.35-1.80V (10 mV)
DRAM Voltage1.17-1.80V (5 mV)1.35-2.14V (5 mV)1.10-2.62V (10 mV)1.10-1.40V (10 mV)
CAS Latency5-16 Cycles5-16 Cycles5-16 Cycles5-16 Cycles
tRCD5-19 Cycles2-19 Cycles2-19 Cycles2-19 Cycles
tRP5-19 Cycles5-19 Cycles5-19 Cycles5-19 Cycles
tRAS15-42 Cycles8-42 Cycles8-42 Cycles8-42 Cycles

Most of the boards in today’s test reached 4.6 GHz, except for Asus’ A88X-Pro at a similar 4.55 GHz.

Maximum reference clock could be important to memory overclockers who’ve already exceeded the Kaveri architecture's top 24x DRAM multiplier, or to anyone who somehow ends up with a multiplier-locked APU. Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI are closely matched in this capability.

Asus tops our memory overclocking tests even after also topping our stock-speed memory bandwidth tests. Performance and stability are definitely a killer combo.

MSI's firmware automatically attempted to tighten memory timings when we reduced memory clock rate, even though our frequency reductions were an attempt to recover from failed boots. The A88X-G45 Gaming might have been able to reach a slightly higher DRAM clock with more manual timing adjustments. On the other hand, our most recent tests show that data rates beyond DDR3-2133 provide no performance benefit to recent platforms.

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