ASRock has formally introduced two new motherboards featuring the FM2 socket, meaning that they are designed with the purpose of acting as a foundation for AMD APU personal computers.
Even though the latest processor to be released by Advanced Micro Devices is not an accelerated processing unit (APU), ASRock has launched two platforms for APUs rather than CPUs.
By recent chip we mean that AMD has revealed the Quad-Core FX-4130 Vishera CPU, but we digress.
It is the A-Series of chips, the Trinity and Richland APU lines as it were, that the FM2A85X-ITX and FM2A85X Pro are ready to receive.
The A85X chipset is used in both, as is more or less obvious from the names.
The former motherboard is a mini-ITX model with a 6-phase VRM, 24-pin ATX and 4-pin CPU power connectors, two DDR3-1866 dual-channel RAM slots (random access memory), a PCI-Express 2.0 x16 slot and seven SATA 6.0 Gbps ports.
RAID 0/1/10 HDD/SSD modes can be set up, and ASRock even implemented an eSATA 6.0 Gbps port, several video outputs (HDMI, D-Sub and dual-link DVI). Sales will be done in exchange for around $110 / 110 Euro.
The other mainboard, FM2A85X Pro, is a full ATX model but its feature set is “slimmer” than usual, since it needs to sell for an even lower price than its smaller sibling. Indeed, the price tag is said to be of $80 / 80 Euro.
The 5-phase VRM is one of the low-cost components, but the price is made small by other things, like the presence of just two DDR3-1866 memory slots (dual-channel) and a single PCI Express 2.0 x16 slot, plus a PCI Express 2.0 x4.
Had there not also been three PCI Express 2.0 x1 connectors and the legacy PCI slot, there would have been grounds to wonder why ASRock didn't just make this a micro-ATX board and be done with it.
Other specs include 6-channel audio, eight SATA 6.0 Gbps connectors, Gigabit Ethernet, PS/2 ports (mouse and keyboard) and some USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports.