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Six Socket FM2 Motherboards For AMD's Trinity APUs

MSI FM2-A85XA-G65

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.

  • 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.
    Reply
  • Cryio
    Why, why do you keep posting Skyrim as being a DirectX11 title? It IS NOT. It's just DX9
    Reply
  • Crashman
    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
  • Sakkura
    CrashmanWhy don't you point to where you see that?Sneaky, lol. Now he's going to be downvoted.
    Reply
  • 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...
    Reply
  • cangelini
    I fixed the typo earlier tonight guys, thanks.
    Reply
  • abbadon_34
    Sounds like someone is owed an apology
    Reply
  • 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...
    Reply
  • 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!
    Reply
  • 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! :)
    Reply