Budget board with budget performance.
The recently released A55 chipsets from AMD are designed to bring their FM1 platform to the masses with budget motherboards. Now I’m not one to advocate for budget boards much, but it makes sense in the case of the new APUs because of AMD’s vision to bring graphical prowess with CPU performance on one small, cool, and very affordable chip.
So what the ECS A55F-A doesn’t feature is USB 3.0 and SATA III (6gbps) ports, but these cuts were designed to save on costs. You still get one PCIe x16 slot, with another running at x4 speeds, plus 4x DIMM slots that support up to 2600MHz DDR3 memory. Oh, and there are 6x USB 2.0 ports on the back, should you need them.
The key thing here is that you have one PCIe x16 slot to add an AMD Radeon HD 5670 or HD 6670 and pair it up with an A8 APU to enable crossfire. The second important factor here is that there are four DIMM slots, all capable of very high RAM speeds. These are the two most important things one should consider if they’re planning to build a Llano based gaming system; the ECS A55F-A certainly supports that. The SATA III and USB 3.0 is just extra fluff that you can live without if you’re under serious budgetary constraints.