Sapphire released the new Pure Platinum A55V motherboard to the market. The board offers a value socket FM1 platform based on AMD A55 FCH chipset, in the ATX form-factor. The motherboard supports AMD A4, A6, A8, and Athlon II "Llano" APU/CPUs in the FM1 package. This model is not exactly designed to be "no-frills", as it does pack an interesting mix of features that could help it grab a comfy price-point in the market.
The FM1 socket is powered by a 6-phase VRM, which uses a simple whine-free choke + DPAK MOSFET design, but throws in a heatsink to cool the MOSFETs. The socket is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 16 GB of dual-channel DDR3 memory, with speeds of over DDR3-1600 MHz with overclocking. The APU is also wired to a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot, and two PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slots. Apart from these, you get three legacy PCI slots, wired to the FCH.
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The A55 FCH provides six SATA 3 Gb/s ports, all of which are wired out as internal ports. The native SATA controller supports RAID 0,1,10 modes. There are no eSATA ports. The display connectivity on this board includes one each of HDMI, DVI, and D-Sub. The board supports AMD Dual Graphics, which lets you pair the APU-integrated graphics with a compatible discrete graphics card, to upscale performance.
Other connectivity features include two USB 3.0 ports on the rear panel (driven by ASMedia ASM1061), gigabit Ethernet (driven by Realtek RTL8111E), and 6-channel HD audio (driven by Realtek ALC661). The HDMI port gives out 7.1-channel digital audio on A4, A6, and A8 APUs. There are a number of USB 2.0 ports, and to top it off there's a mouse/keyboard combo PS/2 connector.
There are a number of nice touches to this product, including Dual BIOS (redundant system BIOS stored on separate EEPROM chips), which insures against bad BIOS updates, POST80 diagnostic LED display, and onboard buttons that include power, reset, clear-CMOS, and MemoryFree. The MemoryFree button auto-tunes memory clock speeds, voltages, and latencies to the closest stable setting to the one you set.