Throughout this review Asus F2A85-V PRO made a very positive impression. It does have some shortcomings, like any other mainboard from any other mainboard maker, but they are not critical. However, when it comes to advantages, they are quite numerous. So far we have tested only two mainboards as part of our Socket FM2 mainboard review series, therefore, it is extremely convenient to perform side by side comparison between Asus F2A85-V PRO and Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4. Both mainboards are the top products in their respective lineups, they features and functionality are similar and quite comparable. These are full-size mainboards, they support AMD CrossFireX graphics configurations which can be built using three PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots (1x16, 2x8 or x8/x8/x4). Asus mainboard has two PCI Express 2.0 x1 and two PCI slots for expansion cards, while Gigabyte mainboard has three PCI Express 2.0 x1 slots and one PCI slot. Asus product boasts an intricate cooling contour with a heatpipe that covers all components in the processor voltage regulator circuitry that may run hot during work. Gigabyte mainboard doesn’t have a heatpipe and is missing a heatsink. Asus’ additional functionality includes EPU and TPU switches, DirectKey, MemOK! And BIOS Flashback buttons. Gigabyte mainboard boasts Power On, Reset and Clear CMOS buttons, POST-code indicator, DualBIOS and Ultra Durable 5 technologies.
If we compare the BIOS functionality then Asus mainboard will look somewhat more attractive. It has automatic overclocking function, the adjustment of the graphics core frequency has been implemented in a much more convenient way. However, it is important to remember that both mainboards both mainboards overclocked all system components identically. Both of them can save up to eight BIOS settings profiles, but Gigabyte mainboard may save and load the profiles to and from external media. Moreover, it also automatically saves the profile after every successful system start. Asus mainboard can’t boast anything like that. Just like other company mainboards it doesn’t save the disabled startup image in the profiles and has no mention of the system hot keys on the screen beneath the startup image. Instead, it allows to very flexibly adjust the startup delay, and if the startup image has been disabled, it will display correct system information on the screen. An obvious shortcoming of the Asus F2A85-V PRO mainboard is its inability to allow adjusting the rotation speed of the three-pin processor cooling fan, while all four system fan connectors can lower their rotation speed with either connection. Gigabyte mainboard has automatic adjustment of the processor fan rotation speed, but only one system fan can allow adjustment with a three-pin fan. The boards perform almost equally fast in nominal as well as in overclocked mode, though Asus mainboard is often ahead of Gigabyte. However, it yields to Gigabyte in energy-efficiency, and sometimes this difference is quite substantial. Moreover, while the boards are priced in the same range, the Asus product is a little bit more expensive.
We started our review of the Asus F2A85-V PRO mainboard by saying that it looked like a real fully functional mainboard, however, Socket FM2 system owners may not appreciate this to the fullest, because the majority of them pay more attention to the lower price, and this isn’t Asus’ strength. However, this is hardly a disadvantage. Asus is more than capable of producing and supporting a wide variety of mainboards. The company has less expensive mainboards on AMD A85X and even cheaper mainboards on AMD A75 and A55 chipsets. So, I am sure anyone can find a product that will meet their specific needs and wants. As for Asus F2A85-V PRO, a product like that was not only desired, but also necessary, as it is intended for those users who are not willing to compromise and always go for the best.