Well-known Taiwanese motherboard manufacturer ECS has just announced the company’s first AMD FM2-compatible motherboard. This is most likely the first AMD desktop Trinity motherboard announced.
ECS’ new baby is baptized A85F2-A Deluxe and is built around AMD’s A85 FCH chipset.
We’re used to call the mainboard’s control processor “chipset.” This comes from back in the day, when all mainboards had two controllers each.
One was the NorthBridge that was controlling the link between the CPU, RAM and video card and the other was the SouthBridge that took care of the expansion slots, the USB, and HDD controllers etc.
Nowadays, motherboards come with a single chip controller. AMD’s FCH denomination is short for “Fusion Controller Hub.”
The ECS A85F2-A Deluxe mainboard is built in the standard desktop ATX format and offers lots of features to complement AMD’s impressive Trinity architecture.
The VRM uses 4 + 1 phases to feed the Trinity APUs and these phases utilize ECS’ Super Alloy chokes that we reported on here
The CPU is fueled from an 8-pin EPS connector and it works with four DDR3 DIMM slots that can hold up to 64 GB or DDR3 memory working at a maximum frequency of 1866 MHz, but it also has overclocking options to get it up to 2300 MHz.
Expansion-wise, the ECS A85F2-A Deluxe mainboard comes with two PCI-Express x16 slots, two normal 32-bit PCI slots and three PCI-Express x1 connectors that belong to the second-generation of PCIe.
The ECS A85F2-A Deluxe mainboard supports AMD’s CrossFireX and Hybrid CrossFire.
On the storage side, the new FM2 comes with 7 SATA3 ports and one eSATA port located on the back of the mainboard. It comes with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 support.
The back panel I/O is populated with 1x DVI, 1x D-Sub, 1x HDMI, and 1x DisplayPort, along with four USB 3.0 connectors and the eSATA port we’ve mentioned earlier.
The ECS A85F2-A Deluxe mainboard has HD audio, thanks to a VIA-made CODEC and Gigabit LAN.
There are extra headers on the mainboard for another two USB 3.0 ports and eight USB 2.0 ports.
The mainboard is ECS “NonStop” certified and that’s a welcomed addition as we reported here
Also the A85F2-A Deluxe is bundled with lots of more or less useful software like Norton AntiVirus, Muzee, Cyberlink Media Suite, and the ECS iEZ utility, which includes the eBLU BIOS Live Update Utility, the eDLU Drivers Live Update Utility and the eSF Smart Fan Utility.
ECS prices the ECS A85F2-A Deluxe mainboard at $150 and while we agree that feature- and certification-wise it is a good mainboard, we’d like to see it closer to the $100 mark.
That’s about €122 for the European AMD users.