Which A75-Based Motherboard Is The Best?
The Asus F1A75-M Pro demonstrated the best performance, but it didn't turn out as well in our overclocking efforts. Gigabyte’s A75M-UD2H was a great overclocker, but had 2% lower performance than the F1A75-M Pro. Jetway showed us the best efficiency, but finished at the bottom of our performance charts. Any further discussion of stock performance is probably narrow-minded anyway, since a mere three percentage points separated the top from the bottom model.
Price is where ECS makes known the presence of its A75F-M2. Representing the next step down from a features standpoint, Jetway might have a hard time beating that mark, though we couldn't find its offering for sale anywhere, anyway. Meanwhile, ASRock’s similarly-equipped motherboard at least offers middle-of-the-road overclocking capabilities, which is something that ECS ignores completely.
ECS splits the A75 FCH's USB 3.0 ports between front-panel and rear-panel outputs, while ASRock places all four ports exclusively around back. While it would be easy for budget builders to choose between both boards based on whether or not their case has front-panel USB 3.0, differences in overclocking capability and price complicate that decision. We’d probably recommend the A75F-M2 to white-box builders, since overclocking is less desirable, while front-panel USB 3.0 is more valued. That leaves the A75M as a low-cost option for hobbyists.
Buyers looking for more features could balance Gigabyte’s FireWire controller against Asus’ extra pair of USB 3.0 ports. The importance of USB 3.0 continues to grow, while FireWire fades into history. But Gigabyte’s A75M-UD2H also costs 10% less than the F1A75-M Pro. Superb overclocking capability puts a huge spotlight on Gigabyte’s value-oriented price, while Asus’ F1A75-M Pro appears to be a big upgrade over ECS for system integrators to consider.
MSI has the best slot layout for dual graphics cards, yet the APUs that fit its A75MA-G55 aren’t designed for high-end gaming configurations. That means its multi-GPU support is best targeted towards office users with multiple monitors. Any of us could combine MSI’s mid-grade overclocking capability, four DIMM slots, and multiple GPU support to build a truly high-end office PC, though we’re fairly certain most of its buyers will instead focus on the APU’s low energy consumption.
With so many good choices available, the easiest way to pick a winner would be to apply our own proclivity for choosing the lowest-cost option able to enable the highest performance. Doing so allows us to recognize Gigabyte’s A75M-UD2H for its modest pricing and unsurpassed overclocking capability.