|Jun 6, 2012, 02:09 PM||#1|
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ASRock Displays a Pair of Micro-ATX Socket FM2 Motherboards
With AMD's "Trinity" desktop APU platform just around the corner, ASRock is ready with motherboards that run it. At Computex, the company displayed a pair of micro-ATX socket FM2 motherboards, based on the AMD A75 FCH chipset. The two include the FM2A75 Pro4-M, and FM2A75M-DGS (pictured in that order).
The FM2A75 Pro4-M is the more premium offering between the two, designed for home desktops, while the FM2A75M-DGS is designed for entry-level PCs. The reason we feel FM2A75M-DGS will win in its segment, is because unlike competitors' offerings (such as MSI A55M-P33 (F2) and GIGABYTE F2A55M-DS2), the board is based on the A75 chipset, with SATA 6 Gb/s ports. It will be priced competitively.
The FM2A75 Pro4-M uses a 6-phase VRM to power the APU, with a heatsink to cool its MOSFETs. It draws power from an 8-pin EPS connector, and features an all-solid state capacitor design. The APU is wired to four DDR3 DIMM slots, supporting up to 32 GB of dual-channel DDR3-2400+ MHz memory, by overclocking. The APU is also wired to a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot, with no lane switches en route. The second x16 slot is electrical x4, and wired to the FCH. One each of PCI-Express 2.0 x1 and legacy PCI make for the rest of the expansion slot area.
Connectivity options on the FM2A75 Pro4-M include five internal SATA 6 Gb/s ports, one eSATA 6 Gb/s, four USB 3.0, ten USB 2.0; display outputs that include HDMI, DVI and D-Sub; 8-channel HD audio with THX TruStudio Pro support; and gigabit Ethernet. ASRock-exclusives such as XFast 555, UEFI system-browser, internet flash, make for the rest of it.
Moving on to the FM2A75M-DGS, this value-segment board uses a compact micro-ATX PCB. The FM2 socket is powered by a simpler 4-phase VRM that draws power from a 4-pin ATX connector. It is wired to just the two DDR3 DIMM slots, which still supports DDR3-2400+ MHz by overclocking; and a PCI-Express 2.0 x16. The other two expansion slots are PCIe 2.0 x1, and legacy PCI.
All six SATA 6 Gb/s ports from the A75 FCH, on the FM2A75M-DGS, are wired out as internal ports. There are four USB 3.0 ports (two on the rear panel, two via headers). There appears to be quite some legacy connectivity on the board, including LPT and COM ports via headers. Display outputs include dual-link DVI and D-Sub. 6-channel HD audio, gigabit Ethernet, make for the rest of it. Despite being an entry-level offering, the FM2A75M-DGS is driven by UEFI BIOS with system-browser.
Expect the two to feature in the first wave of socket FM2 motherboards.
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