Socket FM2 is (almost) there
Computex 2012 has begun, and amongst the new hardware shown there are the first FM2 mobo's.
ECS has introduced no less than five, the A85F2-A Deluxe (shown here) being their top model
Other models are the A75F2-A2, A75F2-M2, A55F2-A2 and A55F2-M3, M standing for micro ATX while the A models have the standard ATX layout.
Their FM1 mobo's support up to DDR3 2600 memory, let's hope that the FM2 takes over from there, Corsair just have brought out their new DDR3 3000 Dominator modules. I wouldn't know where to buy an ECS mobo at the moment though, living in the Netherlands. The ECS website names no dealer here.
Gigabyte has come with the GA-F2A85X-UP4 as their present top model (shown here),
Finally a Gigabyte Fusion FMx board that's in top-model colors! Other boards are the F2A55-DS3 and GA- F2A55M-DS2.
Note that some of these boards use the same A75 or A55 chipset as the earlier FM1 mobo's. No sign of an adapter/converter yet though.
Last edited by Dirk Broer; 06-04-2012 at 11:20 PM.
I've been waiting to see how these motherboards and CPUs will play out, and how much will they cost.
If they are already being demo'ed at Computex then shouldn't be too long until they are out.
FM1/FM2 Buyer's Guide
The upcoming FM2 socket boards come in a number of varieties, the most important of them being the chipset
You can choose between the A55, A75 and A85 chipset.
the A55 supports 6 x 3 Gbit/s SATA,
the A75 supports 6 x 6 Gbit/s SATA,
the A85 supports 8 x 6 Gbit/s SATA.
the A55 supports 14 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 1.1 ports,
the A75 and A85 support 4 USB 3.0, 10 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 1.1 ports
the A55 and A75 support RAID 0,1,10 and JBOD
the A85 supports RAID 0,1,5,10 and JBOD
So my advice is to look out for the A85 chipset when you buy a FM2 mobo, and for the A75 in case of the FM1.
An A55 board is for those tasks where SATA speed does not matter and nor does USB 3.0. Two slots of memory might even be enough then.
And that's another point of variety: the number of RAM slots, two or four. In case that you plan to do longer with your mobo,
it often is a sound advice to have it a bit upgradable, so spend that little bit extra now in order to be able to upgrade later, and take a board with four RAM slots
To be honest, 16 Gb modules are just around the corner, so a two memory slot FM2 mobo can still take 32 Gb of memory in the future. But be warned: that is the same logic that saw my two RAM slot Socket 775 DDR2 mobo being left with only 4Gb because it was way too expensive to upgrade it to 8 Gb. When it died I replaced it with a DDR3 mobo plus 8 Gb of DDR3 at 2/3 of the price of 8 Gb DDR2.
All around the internet people have started to wonder why there are full-size ATX FM1 and FM2 mobo's, and it beats me why, owning one. The advantage is clear: the extra slots, whether PCIe or plain old PCI.
Other people don't understand the PCIe slots, when it's more than one. They do not even seem to consider the possibility of (triple?) CrossfireX and think that people only buy Llano or Trinity systems to use them without discrete video card (I even couldn't with my F1A75!).
In the end it is your money when you buy a new mobo. But better safe than sorry, and better too many empty slots than too few.
Hmmm... the A85 chipset with 8 SATA-3 ports and a low power CPU might just be what I need for a future storage dedicated machine.
It may have escaped you, but the first Trinity-based desktop chips have been presented and can be ordered.
Funny variants though, as they're called FirePro A300 and FirePro A320
By the first looks of it they seem to have a lot in common with the upcoming A10-5700 and A10-5800K. The A300 has a tdp of 65Watt and runs at 3400Mhz, while the 384 shaders of it's GPU part run at 760 Mhz, just like the A10-5700. The A320 has a tdp of 100Watt and runs at 3800Mhz, while the 384 shaders of it's GPU part run at 800 Mhz, just like the A10-5800K.
What's the difference? The A300 and A320 run, for the time being, only on a Sapphire PGS (Professional Graphics System) mobo and sport an awesome amount of double precision capability, 1/4th of their single precision capability! (remember that the double precision capability of the HD 77xx and HD 78xx has been cut to 1/16th)
The 173 (A300) and 184 GFlop (A320) DP are just below the DP value of my trusty old HD 4770 (sic!), but considerably higher than the HD 7750 (51,2), the HD 7770 (80), the HD 7850 (110,1) and the HD 7870 (160), and even outshine products like the nVidia GTX 680 (129) and all GTx 6xx below that card.
It is to be expected that the DP capability of the Trinity chips will be cut to 1/16th, like the Radeon counterparts, if they have any DP capability at all (They are supposed to run along the yet to come HD 76xx/75xx/74xx for CrossfireX, and we know nothing about the DP capability of these cards either)
The A300 and A320 are capable of Dual Graphics and can be combined with the FirePro V3900 or FirePro V4900 (roughly comparable to respectively the HD 6570 and HD 6670, but supporting DP(?)).
Last edited by Dirk Broer; 06-11-2013 at 07:54 AM.
Reason: Sapphire PGS link / FirePro V3900/V4900
I have been waiting for the low power embedded AMD R-Series to appear somewhere for sale, I've been wanting to build my own little network media player (set top box style) and I would like to start off with a new platform and hopefully be able to be only passively cooled and totally silent. (The product brief shows several variants ranging from 17W to 35W TDP)
I know in this day and age no one needs to build their own media player set top box, they are for sale everywhere, but I want to have the hands-on experience and be able to support it in case of some hardware failure, instead of having to send it to the manufacturer and waiting several weeks for it to return.
Last edited by NeoGen; 08-13-2012 at 12:57 AM.
Boards like the DFI CM901-B you mean?
Yup, exactly like that. Unfortunately it is still showing as "Coming soon" on that website.
The pic they show seems to be from a board that was taken out of the manufacturing assembly in midway through the process... it's missing all the connectors (USB, VGA,etc) and possibly some more things.
AMD R-Series Mobo's
Fully equipped, even an A75 chipset: the Mano111
With A70 chipset: the Kontron KTA70M/mITX
I think I read about those 2 at some point in the past... Looking at them again now the Mano111 says "Status: Q3" and the KTA70M/mITX says "First samples of the new Kontron embedded Mini-ITX motherboard KTA70/mITX are available now and series production will start in Q4/2012."