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Six Socket FM2 Motherboards For AMD's Trinity APUs

A85F2-A Golden Firmware

We wanted to give every product in today’s comparison equal coverage, but that’s difficult when ECS' A85F2-A Golden only has one page of firmware settings to address the enthusiast market.

Scaling back the number of overclocking-oriented settings doesn't help ECS avoid errors, though. We found the DDR3-2400 multiplier labeled DDR3-2600. Not that we were able to utilize those higher settings; we weren’t able to get our DDR3-2666-capable kit stable, even after dropping to the board’s DDR3-2133 setting. Instead, we had to start out with DDR3-1866 and work our way up using the CPU reference clock.

Smaller issues plagued our CPU overclocking effort. The A85F2-A Golden couldn't keep our APU stable at the expected 4.5 GHz, though it was able to sustain the next step down: 4.45 GHz at 44 x 101 MHz.

The setting labeled “CPU Over-Clocking Func” was supposed to enable CPU reference clock control, but it reverted to Disabled every time we entered the UEFI.

The lowest setting we found for CPU VCore was 1.50 V, but our target was only 1.45 V. We were surprised to find that the board applied the 1.45 V we wanted to see under load by default.

We don’t want ECS to feel shortchanged by the lack of UEFI imagery, but our attempts to find another overclocking-related page in its firmware came up empty. We weren’t even able to show you the board’s list of saved configurations, because it doesn’t support those. Without the ability to apply user profiles, overclockers have start over any time their changes force them to use the A85F2-A Golden’s CLR_CMOS button.

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