Friday, June 24th 2011

ASUS Announces New F1A75 Series Motherboards

ASUS today announced the launch of their new AMD A75 chipset-based F1A75 Series motherboards. Designed specially to optimize performance for the AMD Llano APUs, the F1A75 Series motherboards have exceptional overclocking capability for the versatile APU with a variety of integrated graphics built directly on the same die. This new series is also equipped with the latest ASUS-exclusive technologies and features, including the Dual Intelligent Processors 2 (DIP2) with DIGI+ VRM for precise power control, a graphical and mouse-controlled UEFI BIOS and the easy-to-use auto tuning for better performance.

New ASUS motherboard design to complement the new AMD Fusion platform
The ASUS F1A75 series are designed with the exclusive DIGI+ VRM and the most intuitive UEFI BIOS on the market. The F1A75-V EVO is the world’s first FM1 socket motherboard with dual x8/x8 PCI-Express for AMD CrossFireX support, while the entire range of ASUS F1A75 Series motherboards are designed to natively support the latest USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps standards.

ASUS F1A75 Series motherboards are based on the latest AMD A75 chipset and FM1 socket, which supports AMD’s new APUs. These include class leading performance from AMD Radeon HD 6000 series processor graphics with AMD Dual Graphics support. With an additional PCI-Express Radeon GPU to initiate Radeon Dual Graphics mode, the performance can be boosted up to 128 percent.

The APU Radeon processor graphics offers DirectX 11 technology, OpenCL Direct Compute and superb low power performance that is ideal for home media entertainment and gaming, without the need for an extra PCI-Express graphics card.

ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 2 with DIGI+ VRM on board
The premium F1A75 Series motherboards are equipped with DIP2, which features DIGI+ VRM technology in addition to the TPU and EPU. DIGI+ VRM power delivery allows a user to precisely adjust and control power settings digitally perfectly serving the APU specification’s power demand. Digital control differs from analog controls by eliminating digital-to-analog conversion lag, which helps to improve overclocking capabilities. This enables precise power flow adjustment and management as well as easy and flexible tuning, including extra DRAM power control for the AMD platform. System stability is also more efficient thanks to a smart thermal function, which includes phased temperature controls. For full system control, all features are accessible either by UEFI BIOS or AI Suite II. This all-in-one software offers diverse and easy-to-use functions, without the need to switch back and forth between different utilities while in Windows.

Media recognized most intuitive UEFI BIOS
Included on all F1A75 Series motherboards is the previously mentioned UEFI BIOS menu interface. UEFI BIOS allows a user to control and adjust their BIOS settings through a mouse-enabled interface for more user-friendly navigation. The built-in EZ Mode option also provides a drag-and-drop boot priority option for easier management of boot devices, while the Advanced Mode allows experienced performance enthusiasts to tweak more intricate system settings. Overclockers can also save screen caps of their settings by pressing F12 on the keyboard and saving it onto a USB thumb drive.
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18 Comments on ASUS Announces New F1A75 Series Motherboards

#1
faramir
... because everybody wants dual CrossfireX in x8/x8 PCI-e configuration with an equivalent of Athlon II 635 with its fGPU disabled.

What's the point of using an APU if one doesn't utilize its fGPU capability ?
Posted on Reply
#2
kirtar
by: faramir
... because everybody wants dual CrossfireX in x8/x8 PCI-e configuration with an equivalent of Athlon II 635 with its fGPU disabled.

What's the point of using an APU if one doesn't utilize its fGPU capability ?
How I read it, the APU's GPU is not disabled because Radeon Dual Graphics is supported (marketing name for APU + discrete GPU working in tandem). Also, I recall [H] doing a test where even x4 in SLI/Crossfire didn't make a significant difference with GTX 480s and Radeon 5870s
Posted on Reply
#3
RejZoR
But still, it's a bit idiotic that my old ASUS II Gene can do 2x full PCIe 16x in crossfire but new boards can't. In fact Intel X48 boards were able to use full 2x 16x PCIe. I thought new boards should be better even if just theoretical than old ones...
Posted on Reply
#4
devguy
by: RejZoR
But still, it's a bit idiotic that my old ASUS II Gene can do 2x full PCIe 16x in crossfire but new boards can't. In fact Intel X48 boards were able to use full 2x 16x PCIe. I thought new boards should be better even if just theoretical than old ones...
The high-end chipsets from AMD (790FX/890FX/990FX), Intel (x38/x48/x58), and nVidia (780i/790i/780a/980a) all supported dual PCIe 2.0 x16 slots. Intel's x79 chipset will even support dual PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (only on socket 2011).

These A75 chipsets from AMD, as well as P67 chipsets from Intel are not their high-end, and that's why they don't offer the additional lanes. Regardless, there isn't much of a performance difference with dual 8x anyway.
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#5
TheLaughingMan
by: faramir
... because everybody wants dual CrossfireX in x8/x8 PCI-e configuration with an equivalent of Athlon II 635 with its fGPU disabled.

What's the point of using an APU if one doesn't utilize its fGPU capability ?
Well first you have no basis for claim it will be on par with an AII 635. You are just pulling that out of thin air.

Second, since we are working with rumors, AMD claims they want to allow programming level access to the iGPU on their APU even when a discreet GPU is installed. And I don't mean when a low end GPU is working with CrossfireX. I mean when (confirmed fact from AMD) a GPU that is more than 2x the power of the APU's IGP and graphic will ONLY be rendered by the dedicated card, programmers may still be able to write OpenCL or AMD APP code to run on the IGP anyway. I think this is a great idea and I hope they follow through with it.

And the point is value. The A-series desktop CPU's will be the $100 to $200 chip range. It would allow budget minded buyers to get a mid-ranged Chip and a decent board with very little money; however, they will not have to sacrifice Crossfire or other luxury features to do it. Thats why.
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#6
kirtar
by: TheLaughingMan
Well first you have no basis for claim it will be on par with an AII 635. You are just pulling that out of thin air.
He may not have stated his basis, but I suspect that it was this:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4448/amd-llano-desktop-performance-preview/2


by: RejZoR
But still, it's a bit idiotic that my old ASUS II Gene can do 2x full PCIe 16x in crossfire but new boards can't. In fact Intel X48 boards were able to use full 2x 16x PCIe. I thought new boards should be better even if just theoretical than old ones...
Try comparing it to H67 then.
Posted on Reply
#7
TheLaughingMan
by: kirtar
He may not have stated his basis, but I suspect that it was this:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4448/amd-llano-desktop-performance-preview/2

Try comparing it to H67 then.
You can't go by SysMark numbers. AMD, Nvidia, and VIA all dropped endorsement on their upcoming crapware for a reason. They have a history of bias, unfair testing that does not take full advantage of support instructions simply based on brand instead of what the chip can do.

And I expect some marginal improvements between now and release (they delayed it for a reason) from improved instruction optimization and a functioning Turbo mode.
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#8
kirtar
by: TheLaughingMan
You can't go by SysMark numbers. AMD, Nvidia, and VIA all dropped endorsement on their upcoming crapware for a reason. They have a history of bias, unfair testing that does not take full advantage of support instructions simply based on brand instead of what the chip can do.
That's probably why Anand used more than just SysMark. The scroll bar exists for a reason
Posted on Reply
#9
faramir
by: TheLaughingMan
Well first you have no basis for claim it will be on par with an AII 635. You are just pulling that out of thin air.
Kirtar beat me to this part.
And the point is value. The A-series desktop CPU's will be the $100 to $200 chip range. It would allow budget minded buyers to get a mid-ranged Chip and a decent board with very little money; however, they will not have to sacrifice Crossfire or other luxury features to do it. Thats why.
My point exactly, this is about value the customer gets. You've got this "budget" $170 APU which requires $100+ board and uses up some of system's RAM for fGPU graphics ($10 for 1 GB fair enough ?) and it's supposed to give customer better value than AMD's existing products, say a $115 Phenom II 955BE, $65 fully featured ATX format AM3 motherboard and $70 Radeon HD5670 combination that can mop the floor with A8-3850 any day of the week and twice on sunday, yet costs less. Where is value in that ?

If there is value to be had in this market, compromises are going to have to be made and crippled CrossfireX support on a platform that is all about integration of relatively powerful GPU and decent CPU makes as much sense as selling refrigerators to Eskimos living in a tent with no electricity. Instead they (= the ecosystem of AMD and their partners who manufacture motherboards) should focus on bringing the price down - into the medium range AM3 board range at the very least. On one hand they are touting GPU performance of Llano while on the other hand they are implying that GPU performance sucks and customers will ultimately want to go with discrete solution or even worse, a discrete CrossfireX solution. Which one is it ?

Make buy-in (= motherboard and 1600 or faster RAM) affordable and success in desktop market will follow. Make buy-in expensive (by providing pointless "features" for platform destined to the "value" segment) and you'll corner yourself out of the market with your own products, nevermind the competition from the company that shall not be named in this post.
Posted on Reply
#10
TheLaughingMan
by: kirtar
That's probably why Anand used more than just SysMark. The scroll bar exists for a reason
In all the other tests on the page, the new A8 does marginally better in every test. And I think those are still SysMark numbers, just results from individual tests. I stand by my statement that I expect improvement during the next 3 months.

by: faramir
Kirtar beat me to this part.

My point exactly, this is about value the customer gets. You've got this "budget" $170 APU which requires $100+ board and uses up some of system's RAM for fGPU graphics ($10 for 1 GB fair enough ?) and it's supposed to give customer better value than AMD's existing products, say a $115 Phenom II 955BE, $65 fully featured ATX format AM3 motherboard and $70 Radeon HD5670 combination that can mop the floor with A8-3850 any day of the week and twice on sunday, yet costs less. Where is value in that ?

If there is value to be had in this market, compromises are going to have to be made and crippled CrossfireX support on a platform that is all about integration of relatively powerful GPU and decent CPU makes as much sense as selling refrigerators to Eskimos living in a tent with no electricity. Instead they (= the ecosystem of AMD and their partners who manufacture motherboards) should focus on bringing the price down - into the medium range AM3 board range at the very least. On one hand they are touting GPU performance of Llano while on the other hand they are implying that GPU performance sucks and customers will ultimately want to go with discrete solution or even worse, a discrete CrossfireX solution. Which one is it ?

Make buy-in (= motherboard and 1600 or faster RAM) affordable and success in desktop market will follow. Make buy-in expensive (by providing pointless "features" for platform destined to the "value" segment) and you'll corner yourself out of the market with your own products, nevermind the competition from the company that shall not be named in this post.
First the A8 will not be "budget" chips. Those should be the mid-range with the A6 the top tier of the budget chips. Second, no one said the F1 socket boards will be at least $100. As usually those boards based on features will range from $65 to $120, so buy a cheaper board.

Now what they are doing as they have done for years and every one does in every market.....provide options. If you have something against dual PCIe 8x slots, there will be dozens of boards that only have 1x 16x PCIe. They will also be cheaper. So stop pretending this is the only motherboard they will be making. My motherboard has dual PCIe and an IGP. It doesn't imply the IGP was crap, it just wasn't enough to game at the level I wanted.

Finally the obvious answer to why not buy the current Phenom II and such is they are being flushed out of the market. They price was dropped to clear stock so there is storage room for the new chips. The second very obvious reason is the improved power consumption with the new chips showing they will at least perform as well as current chips while consuming less power.

I am not saying the A-series will be great or will not need revisions in the near future. I am saying wait for more conclusive testing and AMD confirmed information.
Posted on Reply
#11
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
I wanna build me one of these. They should be bad ass for an HTPC.
Posted on Reply
#12
NC37
People would complain even more if they provided no discrete option with APUs. But yeah you gotta ask that...why don't they just build them better so you wouldn't need discrete? Tech just isn't there yet, not for everyone. But if someone is building a set top box with performance in mind, they won't be buying an APU setup. You would buy Intel or Phenom/FX. I can see these APU setups getting bundled into prebuilt rigs more and later the user will want the ability to get discrete graphics.

Don't see the point in arguing over a chip that will shine more in the mobile market and niche markets. They'll get the Crossfire fixed eventually. But ultimately these are just first gens. Interesting and neat, sure, but 2nd and 3rd gen designs will likely be where things will start really looking better.
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#13
TheLaughingMan
by: NC37
People would complain even more if they provided no discrete option with APUs. But yeah you gotta ask that...why don't they just build them better so you wouldn't need discrete? Tech just isn't there yet, not for everyone. But if someone is building a set top box with performance in mind, they won't be buying an APU setup. You would buy Intel or Phenom/FX. I can see these APU setups getting bundled into prebuilt rigs more and later the user will want the ability to get discrete graphics.

Don't see the point in arguing over a chip that will shine more in the mobile market and niche markets. They'll get the Crossfire fixed eventually. But ultimately these are just first gens. Interesting and neat, sure, but 2nd and 3rd gen designs will likely be where things will start really looking better.
Crossfire is not broken.
Posted on Reply
#14
TheMailMan78
Big Member
by: TheLaughingMan
Crossfire is not broken.
Crossfire in the 6xxx series is on par with SLI. I swear nobody reads benches of the "other" guy anymore.
Posted on Reply
#15
faramir
by: TheLaughingMan
Second, no one said the F1 socket boards will be at least $100. As usually those boards based on features will range from $65 to $120, so buy a cheaper board.
The cheapest I can find is 67 EUR (= US$95) at one of the local pricelist sites:

http://geizhals.at/a655277.html

I don't think they are going to get much cheaper than that, Asrock's boards are the cheapest of the lot here and there isn't anything more you could take away from the board to make it 30% cheaper still (to get into $65 range) as all key features are part of the chipset, there are no expensive heatpipe-based heatsinks, no extra expansion or memory slots to get rid off, it's bare essentials.
Finally the obvious answer to why not buy the current Phenom II and such is they are being flushed out of the market. They price was dropped to clear stock so there is storage room for the new chips.
Guess how sales will fare should it turn out that people are paying more for less ...
The second very obvious reason is the improved power consumption with the new chips showing they will at least perform as well as current chips while consuming less power.
... which is something one would expect from refinement of 4 years old architecture and process shrink. Alas it's not as if they managed to drop the power usage significantly, they merely moved it from two places (separate CPU and GPU with independent cooling solutions and more room inbetween for better cooling) into a single spot.

As a matter of fact I'd be delighted to see head to head performance and efficiency comparison of 45 nm + 40 nm generation running at exactly the same frequencies versus this integrated 32 nm APU. I'm sure somebody is going to do it as soon as NDA is lifted and I can't wait :)
I am not saying the A-series will be great or will not need revisions in the near future. I am saying wait for more conclusive testing and AMD confirmed information.
Eagerly waiting for quite some time now :) I like the concept of APU, I want it to succeed but in order to do so I expect it to have to be able to beat previous generation of AMD's own products in both price/performance and performance/power. Considering the process change this should be doable, right ? What concerns me are all those motherboards that try to position Llano a bracket or two above where I expect it to end up.
Posted on Reply
#16
NdMk2o1o
by: faramir
The cheapest I can find is 67 EUR (= US$95) at one of the local pricelist sites:
Usually with tech the dollar = £1gbp/1 EUR go check out, so $60-$70 might be about right
Posted on Reply
#17
TheLaughingMan
by: faramir
The cheapest I can find is 67 EUR (= US$95) at one of the local pricelist sites:

http://geizhals.at/a655277.html

I don't think they are going to get much cheaper than that, Asrock's boards are the cheapest of the lot here and there isn't anything more you could take away from the board to make it 30% cheaper still (to get into $65 range) as all key features are part of the chipset, there are no expensive heatpipe-based heatsinks, no extra expansion or memory slots to get rid off, it's bare essentials.
Can't argue with anything else you said. All I can say here is that is too expensive and I expect that same board to be much cheaper here. In fact, I looked for it and I can't find that board available in the US yet which means it is in the low-end board section. In the US mobo companies always seem to start with the top of the line, then the low end, and then release a number of ambiguous mid-ranged boards that are hard to determine the value of. I can say 100% sure the price will be different, but even with the required silicon -> mobo price increase that board should be like $70 to $82.99 here.

And I am with you, I am not going to settle for just better power efficiency. Performance needs to improve noticeably.
Posted on Reply
#18
faramir
by: NdMk2o1o
Usually with tech the dollar = £1gbp/1 EUR go check out, so $60-$70 might be about right
Not here, lowest tier motherboards for old budget platforms cost roughly 35 EUR (= US$50) which sounds about right:

AM3: http://geizhals.at/a577031.html
S775: http://geizhals.at/a513806.html

And brand spanking new LGA1155 at 45 EUR (US$60-65):

http://geizhals.at/a623006.html

These prices make sense; easily affordable boards for decent internet/productivity and low-end gaming systems.

Board prices will have to come down and it appears abovementioned Asrock FM1 board will be shipping at ~10% less than the price I quoted above. Still not anywhere near 30% less though :(
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