I lament the sad, sad fact that not many FM2 boards exist outside of the few that ASRock and MSI market for gamers. However, because the future of AMD is in APUs and the new Richland processors are due to be launched this week, some manufacturers have seen how popular the APU solution is to budget gamers and have begun to offer more choice for the platform. Case in point: two sweet, high-end FM2 boards from Gigabyte.
The first is the G1.Sniper A85X, which utilises socket FM2 and is compatible with AMD’s new Richland APUs right off the bat. It has two full-speed PCI-E 2.0 slots for Crossfire or SLI setups, a 6-phase VRM for the APU’s voltage control, eight SATA 6GB/s ports, up to 64GB of DDR3-2133 dual-channel RAM, lots of port options including HDMI, VGA and DVI and two high-speed, high-polling USB 3.0 ports for gaming-grade peripherals that support 1000MHz polling rates.
It looks like a very nice board and chances are it’s a re-skinned F2A85X-UP4, but this is good news for AMD. Having a board that forms part of Gigabyte’s Gaming lineup shows that the two companies mean business.
There was also a new ITX board for socket FM2 as well. The F2A85XN-WiFi offers 6 VRM phases, a bundled Wi-Fi 802.11n card with antennae, four SATA 6GB/s ports, up to 32GB of DDR3-2133 dual-channel RAM, 7:1 channel audio, Gigabit ethernet and, surprisingly, built-in Bluetooth. This may be a great alternative to ASRock’s boards which currently dominate the ITX front for the FM2 socket.