A decent mATX board for your new Trinity HTPC.
With the launch of the AMD Trinity APUs just recently, a host of motherboards have flooded the market for enthusiasts and those who want something more subtle in the form of an HTPC. Today I’ll be looking at one ASUS’ entry for the new FM2 platform that was introduced with the new APUs, the F2A55-M.
A mouthful to say, this mATX sized board from ASUS is decently specced for the price and ticks almost all the checkboxes for features you’d need from a current-gen HTPC. Obviously one of the new things coming with the Trinity APUs are the AMD HD 7000 integrated graphics, such as the HD 7660D on our test A10-5800K APU.
The A55X chipset adds native support for 6x SATA III (6gbps) ports, sadly no USB 3.0 support. Not to worry, though, as most motherboards based on this chipset come with third party USB 3.0 controllers. In the case of the ASUS F2A55-M it uses an ASMedia ASM1042 controller.
Obviously the F2A55-M comes with a host of ASUS exclusive features, like the DIGI+ VRM system for a ‘K’ class APU with voltage regulation which helps achieve a stable overclock. Further overclocking help is provided not only in the form of a simple UEFI BIOS, but also ASUS TurboV software that has various settings for overclocking the CPU and (integrated) GPU, should you not want to delve into the BIOS.
Since this is a budget board, there’s hardly anything packed inside. Apart from the usual instruction manual and drivers disc, you get a rear I/O panel cover and two SATA cables.