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Six A75-Based Motherboards For AMD’s A8 And A6 APUs

AMD's A75 Platform: The Triumph Of Adequacy

Never before has the term “adequate” sounded so good.

Following years of what we were expected to recognize as groundbreaking advances in integrated graphics (which were almost always completely insufficient for gaming, mind you), the Llano APU’s Radeon HD 6500-series graphics processors are the first to actually support a minimum level of playability across many popular 3D titles. While we discovered that fast DDR3 memory plays a role in improving graphics performance, this is incidentally what we were led to expect from Intel's HD Graphics 3000, but never actually saw.

Going head-to-head against Intel’s low-cost second-gen Core i3 lineup, AMD's solution doesn't just have a better graphics processor. Its accompanying A75 chipset also features integrated USB 3.0, potentially cutting motherboard cost. The APU also sports four additional PCIe 2.0 lanes, and AMD wouldn’t want us to forget its often-forgettable support for Dual Graphics.

These capabilities join up to enable a low-cost, low-energy platform with far better 3D performance than the competition offers. If that's the combination you're looking for, the hardest decision is going to be picking the right motherboard. And that's where we step in to help. Our first A75-based round-up consists of six contenders from as many manufacturers.

A75 Motherboard Features
ASRock A75MAsus F1A75-M ProECS A75F-M2
PCB Revision1.021.021.0
ChipsetAMD A75 FCHAMD A75 FCHAMD A75 FCH
BIOSP1.40 (07/21/2011)8630 (07/10/2011)A752B720 (07/20/2011)
100.0 MHz Clock99.8 (-0.2%)100.0 (+0.0%)99.8 (-0.2%)
Internal Interfaces
PCIe x161 (Full x16)2 (x16/x4)1 (Full x16)
PCIe x1/x41/01/02/0
Legacy PCI211
USB 2.03 (six ports)4 (eight ports)2 (four ports)
USB 3.0None1 (two ports)1 (two ports)
IEEE-1394NoneNoneNone
Serial Port111
Parallel Port1None1
SATA 6.0 Gb/s566
SATA 3.0 Gb/sNoneNoneNone
4-Pin Fan231
3-Pin Fan111
FP-Audio111
S/PDIF I/OOutput OnlyOutput OnlyOutput Only
I/O Panel Connectors
P/S 2211
USB 3.0442
USB 2.0226
IEEE-1394NoneNoneNone
Network111
eSATA1NoneNone
Digital Audio OutOpticalOpticalHDMI Only
Digital Audio InNoneNoneNone
Analog Audio563
Video OutVGA, HDMIHDMI, VGA, DVI-DVGA, HDMI
Mass Storage Controllers
Chipset SATA5 x SATA 6Gb/s 1 x eSATA 6Gb/s6 x SATA 6Gb/s6 x SATA 6Gb/s
Chipset RAID Modes0, 1, 100, 1, 100, 1, 10
Add-In SATANoneNoneNone
USB 3.0FCH IntegratedFCH Integrated, ASM1042 PCIeFCH Integrated
IEEE-1394NoneNoneNone
Networking
Gigabit LANRTL8111E PCIeRTL8111E PCIeRTL8111E PCIe
Audio
HD Audio CodecALC892ALC892ALC662
DDL/DTS ConnectNoneNoneNone

A75 Motherboard Features
Gigabyte A75M-UD2HJetway TA75MGMSI A75MA-G55
PCB Revision1.01.01.0
ChipsetAMD A75 FCHAMD A75 FCHAMD A75 FCH
BIOSF3 (07/12/2011)A02 (07/19/2011)V1.2 (07/05/2011)
100.0 MHz Clock100.0 (+0.0%)99.8 (-0.2%)99.8 (-0.2%)
Internal Interfaces
PCIe x162 (x16/x4)1 (Full x16)2 (x16/x4)
PCIe x1/x41/02/01/0
Legacy PCI111
USB 2.02 (four ports)2 (four ports)2 (four ports)
USB 3.01 (two ports)1 (two ports)1 (two ports)
IEEE-13941NoneNone
Serial Port111 (Mini)
Parallel Port1None1 (Mini)
SATA 6.0 Gb/s546
SATA 3.0 Gb/sNoneNoneNone
4-Pin Fan212
3-Pin FanNone11
FP-Audio111
S/PDIF I/OOutput OnlyOutput OnlyOutput Only
I/O Panel Connectors
P/S 2121
USB 3.0222
USB 2.0424
IEEE-13941NoneNone
Network111
eSATA1NoneNone
Digital Audio OutOpticalHDMI OnlyHDMI Only
Digital Audio InNoneNoneNone
Analog Audio636
Video OutVGA, DVI-D, HDMI, DisplayPortVGA, DVI-D, HDMIHDMI, VGA, DVI-D
Mass Storage Controllers
Chipset SATA5 x SATA 6Gb/s 1 x eSATA 6Gb/s4 x SATA 6Gb/s6 x SATA 6Gb/s
Chipset RAID Modes0, 1, 100, 1, 100, 1, 10
Add-In SATANoneNoneNone
USB 3.0FCH IntegratedFCH IntegratedFCH Integrated
IEEE-1394VT6308P PCINoneNone
Networking
Gigabit LANRTL8111E PCIeRTL8111E PCIeRTL8111E PCIe
Audio
HD Audio CodecALC889VT1705ALC892
DDL/DTS ConnectNoneNoneNone