Asus gears up for desktop Trinity with four mobos

The desktop variants of AMD’s new Trinity APUs must be drawing near, because motherboard vendors are rolling out Socket FM2 motherboards in droves. Asus is the latest one to do so, having unveiled no fewer than four fresh mobos ripe for the new APUs.

These new arrivals include, from least to most feature-packed, the F2A85-M LE, F2A85-M, F2A85-M Pro, and F2A85-V Pro. The flagship of the bunch—the F2A85-V Pro—has four DDR3 memory slots, three physical PCI Express x16 slots (which can be arranged in a x8/x8/x4 config), DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, ALC892 integrated audio, six USB 3.0 ports, eight Serial ATA 6Gbps ports (including one external port), and a plethora of miscellaneous bells and whistles.

Among those bells and whistles are Asus’ GPU Boost feature, which can purportedly “enhance integrated graphics up to 17%,” and BIOS Flashback, which allows users to flash the EFI firmware by plugging in a USB storage device and pushing a button on the board. Incidentally, Asus says BIOS Flashback works even if there’s no processor or RAM installed. That should come in handy if the stock EFI doesn’t support whatever RAM or CPU you bought. Considering these mobos are brand new, though, that probably won’t be a concern anytime soon.

The board also has a dedicated button to load up the EFI, and it comes with wireless multimedia streaming functionality dubbed Remote Go!

Other members of the F2A85 series bear the -M suffix. Following Asus terminology, that indicates microATX form factors. Asus still offers dual physical PCIe x16 slots, a full eight SATA 6Gbps ports (including an external one), and at least four USB 3.0 slots on all the micro models, however. You can check out the full announcement on Asus’ website for a detailed breakdown of features.

Asus hasn’t announced pricing yet. That said, I’d expect the desktop variants of Trinity to be as budget-friendly as Llano (a.k.a. A-series) APUs.

Comments closed
    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    I like the ramless / cpuless bios flashing. Definitely something that should’ve been done years ago.

    • shank15217
    • 7 years ago

    I see home brew steam TV consoles and netflix boxes on the cheap

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    Trinity is obviously the APU to get unless Llano prices plummet, which won’t be surprising if it happens.

      • heinsj24
      • 7 years ago

      Llano is EOL.

      You can find the 3870K for around $90.

    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    For 98% of folks I believe Trinity should be a terrific choice. Looking forward to grab a copy.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Where’s my ITX?!

    Trinity = HTPC. What bozos at Asus can’t see this?

      • Goty
      • 7 years ago

      *looks at all the full- and micro-ATX HTPC-specific cases out there*

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    TRINITY IS GOING TO BE AMAZING.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Holy even!

      • Tristan
      • 7 years ago

      Nothing Bulldozer-based is going to be amazing. Graphics will be faster, but who really wants ‘superior integrated graphics’ ?

        • dmjifn
        • 7 years ago

        Anyone who wants a low profile HTPC that’s a little bit better at 1080p gaming and transcoding?

          • brucethemoose
          • 7 years ago

          Aka a low profile 7750 with your CPU of choice. Which will handily outclass Trinity for just a bit more $.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            Probably more than “just a bit more $”. If Trinity isn’t fast enough, then we’re looking at Intel where comparable boards are priced higher to start, and then you’re throwing a $100 GPU on top of it. Even if you go lowest-end Pentium vs. high-end unlocked Trinity and add the GPU you’re still looking at a pretty big markup.

            That said, I think that markup is well worth the money. Even a Pentium G620 [url=http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/406?vs=399<]destroys[/url<] the near-top-of-the-line Llano and a similarly priced G840 [url=http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/405?vs=399<]exacerbates AMD's problem[/url<]. I have to think Intel knows what Trinity is going to be and has planned accordingly. edit: spelling and tags.

            • heinsj24
            • 7 years ago

            If by “destroy” you mean “trade blows with”… the Llano wins as many of those benches as it loses.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            I admit to only looking at relevant and useful benchmark results. Let’s see here. Llano wins:

            x264
            Cinebench R10 multi-thread
            2 SYSmark tests, loses overall
            7z/RAR creation

            The i3 wins:
            Everything else, including everything that’s relevant and useful, unless you spend your days converting Blu-Ray rips and the attempting to compress them into 7-zip archives.

            • raddude9
            • 7 years ago

            Are you looking at the same results?

            The Llano won the Sysmark Overall test 100 to 97…

            • Yeats
            • 7 years ago

            I think you need to re-learn benchmark reading.

            • dmjifn
            • 7 years ago

            Hey, I don’t disagree. The 7750 is definitely another a viable way to skin that cat, particularly if you need even more oomph. My suggestion was in response to “who really wants ‘superior integrated graphics’?”, not “what’s the best bang for the buck in the low-profile HTPC space”. Personally, I feel there’s something to be said for using as few as parts as necessary in such a machine, and for leaving that one slot on your mini-ITX board open for a tuner or some other utility option that wasn’t integrated.

            • My Johnson
            • 7 years ago

            I got a low profile GT 430. But I did see the Sapphire low profile 7750.

        • deruberhanyok
        • 7 years ago

        Everyone wins when the bottom rung of graphics capabilities goes up.

        To specifically answer your question, though, I do. It means laptops with integrated graphics will be able to handle games competently. Maybe not at the highest settings, but they’ll be playable.

        Also, it means you can build a tiny system without a video card in it and still play the occasional round of Team Fortress 2 or Torchlight II without getting frustrated at performance. That’s a huge deal.

          • rootheday3
          • 7 years ago

          You can get decent tf2 and torchlight performance out of existing integrated solutions.

            • deruberhanyok
            • 7 years ago

            I know. And now, it will be even better!

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          YAY?

          • A_Pickle
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]It means [b<]cheap[/b<] laptops with integrated graphics will be able to handle games competently.[/quote<] Fixed that for you. Also, USB 3.0. To have a cheap, reasonably thin laptop with decent gaming performance and USB 3.0 is... way more important to me than overall CPU performance. Honestly, CPU performance matters less and less to me these days. Any available CPU is "fast enough."

      • jihadjoe
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah Carrie Anne Moss was hawt as Trinity!

    • deruberhanyok
    • 7 years ago

    Asus! Hook us up with a nice mini ITX board for these processors. I know you can do it!

      • flip-mode
      • 7 years ago

      Indeed.

        • shank15217
        • 7 years ago

        it will happen, i give it a couple of months, more likely from asrock than asus

      • raddude9
      • 7 years ago

      well said. Also, while we’re talking about it, anybody got any good suggestions for a HTPC mini-ITX case?

      Something small, but with a full size 5.25in bay and 2 internal 3.5in bays

        • deruberhanyok
        • 7 years ago

        Finding a “small” mini-ITX case with those bays would be difficult. Plenty of Micro ATX cases would fit the bill, though I don’t know how close they fit to your definition of small. Maybe the Antec NSK1380? It’s small, ish.

        Silverstone’s SG01 and SG02 might also work, but again, they’re Micro ATX, so they might be bigger than you want.

        Now, if you went with two 2.5″ drives and a slimline optical drive, you could use an Antec ISK 300. That’s pretty small.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          Trinity embedded in an AsRock Fusion box… just sayin’..

          • jensend
          • 7 years ago

          I’m still disappointed that Antec hasn’t come up with an update to the ISK 300 with USB 3.0 ports. I emailed them to ask if such an update was in the works and got a content-free “mini-itx is important to us yadda yadda yadda” non-reply back from them.

          • raddude9
          • 7 years ago

          The Antec NSK1380 doesn’t look very HTPC-like, and is a bit too big

          Silverstone’s SG01 and SG02 look very very good but are definitely too big

          Antec ISK 300 is a bit too small. I’d like to shove a few high capacity HDDs in there.

        • SomeOtherGeek
        • 7 years ago

        Did you see that [url=http://www.anandtech.com/show/6327/thermaltake-armor-a30-case-review-opening-the-puzzle-box<]Thermaltake Armor A30 Case[/url<] on review over at AnandTech. Seens like a sweet case, but might be too big for ya?

          • raddude9
          • 7 years ago

          Yea, the A30 looks pretty good, I like the big fan, but the case is a bit on the big size and not very HTPCie looking. I have something a bit more VCR looking in mind.

        • Bauxite
        • 7 years ago

        CM elite 120, various silverstone models, etc.

        Not really [i<]small[/i<] though, your demand for full 5.25" kills that. "Optical is dead Jim." 1 drive to rule them all, and in the darkness transcode them.

          • raddude9
          • 7 years ago

          Optical is not quite dead yet, I still have a blu-ray drive that occasionally stretches its legs…

          The Cooler Master Elite 120 looks good, plenty of hard drive bays and space for a big graphics card, but a little bit on the big side.

        • Veerappan
        • 7 years ago

        I’ve got one of these at home (APEX MI-100BK):
        [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154093[/url<] 1x 5.25" external 1x 3.5" external 1x 3.5" internal

          • raddude9
          • 7 years ago

          Thanks dude, the APEX MI-100BK pretty much what I was looking for. Small, but has space for my blu-ray and a pair of big hard drives and wouldn’t look out of place in the living room.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Hwere is another one: [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811108196[/url<] (I assume the 3/5" bays can be used for 2.5" drives.)

        • Joe Miller
        • 7 years ago

        Bitfenix Prodigy

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      That’s Zotacs territory. They fight hard for it…

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 7 years ago

        It seems that Zotac will be making a decent-looking mini-ITX board for Trinity: [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/5951/computex-2012-some-more-fm2-motherboards-including-zotac-ecs-and-biostar-[/url<]

          • deruberhanyok
          • 7 years ago

          Oh, that Zotac board looks nice. I didn’t realize we were still going to see the A75 chipset alongside these processors, too – hopefully, since it has been in production for a while, that will help keep costs down.

    • Alexko
    • 7 years ago

    “That should come in handy if the stock EFI doesn’t support whatever RAM or CPU you bought. Considering these mobos are brand new, though, that probably won’t be a concern anytime soon.”

    There are whispers about Kaveri being compatible with Trinity’s socket, so this could come in handy by this time next year.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 7 years ago

    These micro-ATX boards with Trinity should form the basis of decent HTPCs. Stick ’em in something like the Silverstone Grandia GD05 case and you’re on your way.

    With four PCIe slots, the micro-ATX form factor is plenty for most of us. There’s not much need for a larger ATX board with two obsolete PCI slots added to the mix.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Right on, though I figure one of the PCIe 1x slots will vacate to make room for a PCI slot.

      Edit: the listings for each of the mATX boards is on ASUS’ site now. Fortunately PCI is only found in one of them.

      [url<]http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_Socket_FM2/F2A85M_PRO/[/url<] [url<]http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_Socket_FM2/F2A85M/[/url<] [url<]http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_Socket_FM2/F2A85M_LE/[/url<] And then the full-sized ATX board shown above: [url<]http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_Socket_FM2/F2A85V_PRO/[/url<]

    • dpaus
    • 7 years ago

    Nice job on the cover photo 🙂

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