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ECS A85F2-A Golden Review

By on November 27, 2012
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A flashy motherboard that’s got performance to match the style.

Good: Decent performance; Loads of premium components; Interesting styling; Easy overclocking from UEFI BIOS.
Bad: Gold plating maybe a bit too flashy for some; No onboard buttons.
Price: AED 400
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Benchmarks

Starting the benchmarks are the two most popular data compression software: WinRAR and 7-zip. For both of these programs I have used the built-in benchmarking software. A higher score is better.

The next test is Cinebench R11.5 wherein a 3D image is rendered using the CPU. This test stresses all the CPU cores, maximizing the threads. Results are given in points, the higher the better. The second test x264 HD 4.0 is a video encoding test in which a small HD video file is encoded in x264 format. The results are measured in frames per second, in that the faster a processor, the higher the fps.

PCMark, Performance Test  and Geekbench stress tests all the resources of a system. Since almost all the components in our testbed are one of the best in the market right now, the entirety of the performance will depend on how good our test motherboard is. As usual, the higher the score, the better.

3DMark 11 is an industry standard graphical benchmark, and while it mostly stresses the graphics card, the CPU is also highly stressed for specific tests. The higher the score, the better.

Overclocking

Thanks to their new UEFI BIOS, overclocking the ECS A85F2-A Golden was a matter of one click. However, clicking into the Advanced menu, you can head into the M.I.B.X setup to customize the speed increase. While I managed to increase the multiplier to 44x with voltage of 1.477v on our A10-5800K, Upgrading the integrated GPU’s speed to anywhere above 980MHz crashed the system. So with 4.4GHz overclock on the CPU and 980MHz overclock on the GPU @ 1.477v, let’s see how the ECS A85F2-A Golden performs.

The MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 overclocked the integrated GPU to 1075Mhz, hence the performance increase in 3DMark 11.

Conclusion

The ECS A85F2-A Golden is a great motherboard with some nice features packed in, especially for its price. Overclocking is easy, although not as high as I’ve seen on other FM2 motherboards. The gold plating on everything maybe too much for some people, while others will really like this kind of eye-catching design. It’s a hit and miss affair to be sure, but if you’re considering an FM2 build based on features alone, the ECS A85F2-A Golden is definitely worth checking out.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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