ECS unveils production Socket FM2 motherboard

Last week, we got to gawk at pictures of a prototype Socket FM2 motherboard. Today, we have a special treat: official pictures and details about a finished, production-ready model. ECS has announced the A85F2-A Deluxe, an honest-to-goodness ATX motherboard with an FM2 socket ripe for AMD’s desktop Trinity APUs.

The A85F2-A Deluxe features the A85X chipset, which we know little about and AMD has yet to announce. Connectivity includes six USB 3.0 ports (four of which lie in the rear I/O cluster), seven 6Gbps SATA ports (including an external eSATA port), and dual PCI Express x16 slots with support for CrossFire multi-GPU configs. ECS has four display outputs (VGA, DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort) hooked up to the CPU socket, and it says users can drive up to four displays simultaneously. The firm populates the A85F2-A Deluxe with an otherwise unremarkable assortment of DDR3, PCIe x1, and 32-bit PCI slots.

ECS says it has another four Socket FM2 mobos in the pipeline: the A75F2-A2, A75F2-M2, A55F2-A2, and A55F2-M3. The announcement doesn’t mention backward-compatibility with Socket FM1 processors, so it’s probably safe to assume that this board and its siblings are Trinity-only. A release date is missing, too. I reckon we’ll have to wait for AMD on that one, since the desktop version of Trinity still hasn’t launched.

Comments closed
    • ryko
    • 7 years ago

    I count 8 total sata ports on board including the esata port on the rear cluster. One of them is facing straight out instead of sideways like the other 6.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 7 years ago

    Other than an ECS executive holding a gun to one of my relative’s heads, I can’t think of a reason that would persuade me to buy one of their boards.

      • JMccovery
      • 7 years ago

      I wouldn’t say that ECS’ boards are too bad… In one system, I have an ECS GF6100 AM2 board that will run an AM3 chip, though the bios lists it as an AMD Engineering Sample.

      I also used to have an A780GM-A board that the main problem it had was a bad bios that freaked out whenever you set the sb to AHCI mode. One bios upgrade later, it was rock-solid, until the computer it was in was stolen…

        • LoneWolf15
        • 7 years ago

        I can find boards from vendors I trust for similar prices in most cases. That sums it up.

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, ECS (PC Chips) cost around the same as MSI, for example.

          It’s like, “hey, do you want to buy this Ford Taurus, or this rusty bicycle my drunken Danish uncle found in a ditch? They’re both compatible with roads, and they support the latest storage options (garage/street-parking/ditch)”

    • Duck
    • 7 years ago

    The desktop Trinity launch may have been pushed back to September. So still quite a long wait if true.

      • jensend
      • 7 years ago

      [url=http://semiaccurate.com/2012/06/01/amd-delays-desktop-trinity-one-quarter/<]Here's the rumor to which Duck is referring[/url<].

        • Duck
        • 7 years ago

        Yup, that’s the one. Some people round here won’t take kindly to information from SA though.

          • esterhasz
          • 7 years ago

          I smell an Apple related rumor self-assembling in the plasma somewhere…

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          Well, Charlie is anti-Nvidia so his AMD rumours tends to be less damning/biased and more accurate by contrast.

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    They should have turfed the second PCI slot and moved that PCI-e x1 slot that is directly below the first PCI-e x16 slot to where the PCI slot was.

    Edit: (At least 1 PCI-e X4 should also become standard now days as well IMHO)

    • brute
    • 7 years ago

    Too bad plastic chairs with 400lbs occupants last longer than most ECS boards.

    Not to mention the fact that better BIOSes could be written by blind quadriplegics.

      • Duck
      • 7 years ago

      lols

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      I remember how early revisions of the K7S5a motherboard all came with a MAC address of 00-00-00-00-00-00. Oh what fun it was to try to network those….

        • esterhasz
        • 7 years ago

        At least it’s easy to remember…

        • LoneWolf15
        • 7 years ago

        The only ECS board I ever bought for anyone. Not a bad design, but quality control sucked; the ratio of bad boards to good ones was certainly higher than acceptable.

      • thefumigator
      • 7 years ago

      I personally own an ECS GF8200A mobo and never had any problems. Also its 24/7 on since 2008 so its durable. Well I cannot guarantee how good ECS is because I only own one of their products…

      • 1313andrewx
      • 7 years ago

      to my K7S5A and N2U400-A, Rest in Peace

    • FuturePastNow
    • 7 years ago

    Release date speculation: The first photos of an FM1 motherboard (also from ECS) appeared on May 19, 2011. The first A8-3850 reviews hit on June 30th.

    Just over a month.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Doh!
    Trinity on the desktop is a non-starter for anything except perhaps mITX. Intel are busy wiping the floor with AMD for peformance/dollar.

    Mobile is where it’s at; Trinity is going to be amazing against the ULV Ivy Bridges, assuming we see some decent implementations of the 17W and 25W parts.

      • brute
      • 7 years ago

      Trinity is pretty sexy. I like the part where she flies the helicopter and helps Neo defeat the Agents. The machine gun part was pretty cool but I wish Trinity came with more hair.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        rofl 🙂
        +1 for you sir!

        Anway, my opinion seems to be downranked pretty hard already, but I didn’t clarify it; Llano’s IGP > Trinity’s IGP is less of a gain than HD2000 (or HD3000) > H4000.

        Llano sold poorly on the desktop with only a few niche markets to fill (super-budget gaming box or compact HTPC with limited space for a discrete card). HD4000 is now “good enough” for much more of the market and Trinity’s major advance (power efficiency) doesn’t matter on the desktop where battery life isn’t relevant.

          • Eldar
          • 7 years ago

          So, what about a compact budget HTPC that can do some light gaming (ie Portal 2 at 1080p, if that can be considered “light”)?

          My thought is that if Trinity is priced right, it may be the way to go.

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            That’s exactly the sort of thing Llano and Trinity are good for.

            Unfortunately, the £90 that an A8 costs is the same as the £40 Pentium G620 and the £50 HD6670 put together.

            The CPU performance of the two is a wash; where the A8 wins in heavily multithreaded stuff, the G620 is better in the more common single and dual-threaded stuff you’d expect to be doing on a budget box. It’s also better as a gaming [i<]CPU[/i<] and if that wasn't enough, the G620 runs significanlty quieter and cooler than an A8 and has epic overclocking headroom. The platform cost is a wash. For the same features, FM1 boards are £20 cheaper than 1155 boards, but then Llano and Trinity need more expensive 1866 RAM to get the most from their IGPs. The 6550D of Llano is 400 ALUs @ 600MHz with 1866MHz DDR3 The discrete 6670 is 480 ALUs @ 800MHz with 3600MHz GDDR5. It's a massacre, with the 6670 often managing double the performance. I can't deny that Llano is a neat package, but it's not a smart buy. [i<][b<]If Trinity is no more expensive than current Llano prices[/b<][/i<], the performance/dollar will align with a SNB Pentium + 6670, but that's it. Trinity [i<][b<]will[/b<][/i<] give us on the desktop what we've already had for a year with Intel.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 7 years ago

            Sure, but you could get the A6 3500 for $80 (or about the price for just the video card you’ve chosen), lose out on 1 module which you won’t miss anyways, and have slightly worse graphic capabilities.

            Now, why the A8 exists at all? I have no idea.

            • kc77
            • 7 years ago

            The CPU performance of the two is NOT a wash. Llano is not BD. An A8 Llano or an A6 against a G620 will win out far more often than not.
            [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/399?vs=406[/url<] And if the G620 doesn't have discrete.... well it probably wouldn't win anything other than perf/w (probably not that either if you are gaming or watching video). High speed ram wouldn't matter either as even with 1600 ram the GPU on LLano is significantly faster than what's riding in G620. A6 3650: $99 GIGABYTE GA-A55M-DS2: $49.99 Total: $148.99 Intel Pentium G620: $67.99 GIGABYTE GA-H61M-DS2: $54.99 SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6670 1GB: 64.99 Total: $188.97 Now that's with the A6 beating out the 620. Technically we could probably go down to the dual core which is clocked 600 Mhz higher and probably maintain the performance edge and have a platform some 50 bucks cheaper.

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            Nevermind, I misread some of those graphs – they’re quoting time to complete test rather than test result, so yeah – the A8 looks much better in that light.

            • kc77
            • 7 years ago

            Unless you think you can “Play” Sysmark, the only tests a 620 wins in is games with a discrete and I mentioned that. However, you pay for that discrete card. It isn’t free. As I said before you probably could drop down to an A4 which is clocked 600 Mhz more and either maintain or have higher performance. and the platform would be $100 cheaper.

            If you do anything else with that CPU from transcoding, to Photshop the A6 or A8 is 25% to 35% faster.

            There are 48 tests if we leave in Sysmark. The G620 wins 20 out of the 48. If we take out Sysmark it wins 12. What are you looking at?

            • Eldar
            • 7 years ago

            Wouldn’t dropping down to an A6 or A4 significantly drop gaming performance as well, given the lower end graphics cores involved?

            • Eldar
            • 7 years ago

            So, bottom line is that you can go G620 + 6670, you can get a bit more gaming performance, but you’re going to pay for it? It’ll be interesting how Trinity’s pricing plays into all of this.

            It seems like the best value is whatever is on sale in a given week, which is frustrating for someone like me who prefers to plan ahead….

            • rrr
            • 7 years ago

            “the G620 runs significanlty quieter and cooler than an A8 and has epic overclocking headroom.”

            Uhhh, you mean G620 has epic overclocking headroom? Sorry, nope – they are completely locked. You’re limited to bus OC, which destabilizes other devices after a few MHz bump.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      Trinity is fine for cheap desktops as long as they’re priced accordingly. Since I don’t think Intel wants that low margin market anyways, it could be fine.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 7 years ago

    I wonder if the new chipset designation means it will have that mux for putting USB 3.0, DisplayPort, and power together? They had said that should show up a little after Trinity’s initial launch.

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