It’s been a while since we’ve seen a -G65 board from MSI, the most recent being a microATX model. We expect a larger board to have more slots, and AMD's newer chipset helps enable the FM2-A85XA-G65’s expanded feature set.
The A85X Fusion Controller Hub even lets MSI give up an add-in controller, since the core logic integrates four USB 3.0 ports. The chipset also integrates support for DisplayPort output, and MSI chooses to ditch eSATA in favor of more internal ports.
Sporting a pair of second-gen PCI Express x16 slots that automatically switch from x16-x0 to x8-x8 transfers whenever the second is filled, the FM2-A85XA-G65’s closest layout match in today’s comparison comes from ECS. Both boards lack a x4 slot that competing boards do offer, so we're hoping to see lower prices accompany the feature reductions of both products.
The FM2-A85XA-G65 adds a few minor features compared to its closest rival, including power, reset and CLR_CMOS buttons. MSI OC Genie is also present, alongside a handy row of voltage detection points. Those additions are most useful to reviewers and the hardcore overclockers who use open test beds on a regular basis. Because AMD's Socket AM2 platform is decidedly budget-focused, competitive overclockers probably won't be spending much time tuning APUs. These features would come in handy if MSI ever decided to to sponsor a budget-oriented overclocking event.
One minor layout issue is that the front-panel audio connector might be a little too far away from the associated jacks for the cables of certain cases to reach. That’s really a chassis problem though, and it still affects many older enclosures. As a result, you see us pointing out when a motherboard manufacturer moves this connector into a more accessible position. Forward-facing SATA ports can also be problematic for certain older cases, though most folks prefer this design for its ability to avoid conflicts with long graphics cards.
A small bag of extender leads for the FM2-A85XA-G65’s voltage detection points adds a little value to MSI's installation kit, but four SATA cables is barely adequate for this eight-port board.
Current page: MSI FM2-A85XA-G65Prev Page F2A85X-UP4 Firmware Next Page FM2-A85XA-G65 Firmware
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
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.Reply
Why, why do you keep posting Skyrim as being a DirectX11 title? It IS NOT. It's just DX9Reply
CryioWhy, why do you keep posting Skyrim as being a DirectX11 title? It IS NOT. It's just DX9Why don't you point to where you see that?Reply
CrashmanWhy don't you point to where you see that?Sneaky, lol. Now he's going to be downvoted.Reply
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...Reply
I fixed the typo earlier tonight guys, thanks.Reply
Sounds like someone is owed an apologyReply
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.Reply
There are much more important things to worry about, like quality, price, and features, to name a few...
cangeliniI fixed the typo earlier tonight guys, thanks."Adoby Creative Suite"Reply
who cares, good job to crash and the rest of the crew . . .
edit: i had to fix a typo . .oh karma!
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! :)Reply