Articles: Mainboards

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PCB Design and Functionality

Just like with the packaging, some of the design features in F2A85-V PRO indicate clearly that it is an Asus product. The mainboard itself looks quite common. We can just take it for granted, but we can also be surprised about it. A lot of mainboards for Socket FM2 processors have some very unique distinguishing features, which tell you that it is a simple and inexpensive model. Among them are smaller PCB dimensions, four-pin ATX12V power connector, the absence of additional heatsinks or something similar. Asus F2A85-V PRO doesn’t have anything like that. It looks like a real fully functional mainboard without any “ifs” or “buts”.

The mainboard is equipped with a pretty powerful voltage regulator that works as 6+2. The new “DIGI+Power Control” voltage regulator circuitry guarantees stable settings as well as simple and precise voltage adjustment not only for the processor and the integrated graphics core in it, but also for the memory. It supports all contemporary Socket FM2 processors, and four memory DIMM slots can fit up to 64 GB of RAM. The voltage regulator components that may run warm during operation are fully covered with two additional heatsinks, and the cooling contour includes a heatpipe connecting one of them with the heatsink on the chipset.

AMD A85X chipset provides support for AMD CrossFireX graphics configurations. You can use two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots that share 16 PCI-E lanes as well as the third slot working at x4 speed. Besides that the expansion cards may be installed into two PCI Express 2.0 x1 and two PCI slots. Out of eight SATA 6 Gbps ports available in the mainboard chipset, we have seven plus one eSATA on the back panel.

The mainboard back panel has the following ports and connectors:

  • Universal PS/2 connector for keyboard or mouse;
  • Four USB 2.0 ports, another eight ports are laid out as four onboard pin-connectors;
  • D-Sub, DVI-D, HDMI and DisplayPort video outs;
  • eSATA 6 Gbps port implemented via AMD A85X chipset, like seven internal SATA 6Gbps ports;
  • Four USB 3.0 ports (blue connectors), two of which are implemented via ASMedia ASM1042 controller. Another two ports and one more internal pin-connector for two additional USB 3.0 ports are provided by the mainboard chipset;
  • A local network port (network adapter is built on Gigabit Realtek RTL8111F controller).
  • An optical S/PDIF and six analogue audio-jacks provided by eight-channel Realtek ALC892 codec.

Just like all the other mainboards from Asus, F2A85-V PRO uses wide Q-Slot latches on the graphics card slots. TPU switch (TurboV Processing Unit) will allow you to automatically overclock the processor, while the EPU switch (Energy Processing Unit) will enable more energy-efficient operational mode. USB BIOS Flashback button will help update the mainboard BIOS by using the namesake utility even when the system hasn’t yet been fully assembled: you do not need to install the processor, memory, graphics card or connect the monitor to run the update tool. Just plug in the power cable, insert the USB flash drive into the corresponding port and press and hold the BIOS Flashback button. Moreover, there is MemOK! button that will let the mainboard boost successfully even if memory problems occur. There is a new button there called “DirectKey”, by pressing which you can automatically enter the mainboard BIOS Setup. There are five four-pin fan connectors onboard: one processor fan connector and four system fan connectors.

For your convenience we summed up all the mainboard characteristics and specifications in the following table:


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