Overall, Mini-ITX mainboards for Socket FM1 processors made a very positive impression. Using AMD APUs for a compact computer system makes perfect sense in many respects, and the mainboard developers who decided to address the market need for corresponding platforms did a good job. Although AMD A8, A6, A4 or E2 series processors and their coolers are pretty large in size, the Mini-ITX mainboards designed for them have very rich functionality: they have all contemporary interfaces, PCI Express x16 and sometimes even mini-PCIe expansion card slots. Of course, in some cases the developers had to find a compromise, for overall, Mini-ITX mainboards for Socket FM1 platform look just as good as their compact LGA 1155 counterparts.
The systems that you can build with a Llano processor and one of the mainboards discussed in this article will offer good overall performance, pretty fast integrated graphics and acceptable power consumption, especially if you use energy-efficient 65 W processors. However, the primary goal of our today’s review was to compare the available mainboards and make some valid recommendations. So, let’s proceed to the specifics.
Asus F1A75-I Deluxe performed best of all in our today’s test session. It not only demonstrated the highest performance of the four tested boards, but also proved to be the most energy-efficient mainboard and did great during overclocking. Its functionality was also quite pleasing: it has wireless network interface, which is a great feature for a mini-system, and comes with a useful and unique accessory – a remote control unit with a QWERTY-keyboard. However, this mainboard is not completely fault-free. Take, for example, its not so convenient layout. But despite this fact, Asus F1A75-I Deluxe still looks great, especially against the background of other mainboards tested today, and had its price been a little lower, we would be recommending this mainboards for each and every one. Nevertheless, we can’t help awarding Asus F1A75-I Deluxe with our highest title – X-bit’s Editor’s Choice:
However, Asus F1A75-I Deluxe mainboard may be a little too pricy for some users and in this case we would recommend checking out Gigabyte A75N-USB3. This mainboard is free from excessive unnecessary features and therefore is able to stay at a more appealing price point. At the same time, this board has everything necessary, is very well built and boasts good overclocking potential. In other words, Gigabyte A75N-USB3 is the best Socket FM1 Mini-ITX mainboard in terms of price-to-performance that is why we decided to award it with our Recommended Buy title:
Although Zotac A75-ITX WiFi mainboard didn’t fall into “our favorite” category. I am sure it will still find its market. The key peculiarity of this product is a wide variety of supported network interfaces. So, even though it doesn’t offer any overclocking-friendly features and is not particularly energy-efficient, Zotac mainboard will be a great choice for compact home multimedia servers.
The last mainboard, ASRock A75M-ITX, also has a big chance of winning its part of the market, because this particular mainboard is extremely inexpensive. So, if you can’t find Gigabyte GA-A75N-USB3 mainboard, which we recommend, or don’t feel like investing over $100 into the Mini-ITX platform for your Socket FM1 system, then ASRock A75M-ITX is the one and only choice you have. If you are lucky, this mainboard will become a good base for your Mini-ITX system. But if you decided to go with ASRock, be prepared to work with the warranty and claims department of the computer hardware store where you purchased the board, because it may get to that.