Last article we had a look at a high-end FM1 board based on the A75. Now, we look at the entry level unit on the A55.
A simple looking board it is.
Oh look! No clutter of heatsinks around that area, I like it!
4 DIMM slots, with the ATX connector being too close for comfort.
Well spaced PCI-E x16 slots for CrossfireX.
Interesting that they placed SATA slots at the lowest corner instead of the usual jumper, the CMOS reset jumper (blue color, near the left frame of the photo) is placed far back towards the other end, which is rather unusual. After all, CMOS reset jumpers or buttons are often placed nearer to the front of the casing rather than further back.
I/O ports………. WHAT!?!?!? NO DVI!?!? Ok well I kinda like DVI port, really. I prefer the boards to have all VGA, DVI and HDMI, and add DisplayPort to that. This board however, comes with only a VGA and HDMI – I’m thinking of modern day TVs, and I bet that Asrock is targetting the HTPC market with this one.
And yes, both PS/2 ports for mouse and keyboard too!
More details of the board at the official product page
The board boasts of many features but I’m more concerned about what the board can provide. Coming in at RM 270, the board comes with decent amount of features. Supports 2 x SATA3, 2 x USB 3.0, CrossfireX, overclocking, so on so forth….
With this board, I managed go overclock the A8-3850 to 3Ghz (100Mhz gain), nothing spectacular. The UEFI’s supposed “optimized profile” just doesn’t work either as the lowest available for the profile was 3.2ghz, which is faster than I could ever reach with my A8-3850. That said, the UEFI interface looks quite nice.
Another downside is that it lacks a speaker on the board. I much prefer boards that come with a speaker for beep code purpose. The package doesn’t bundle the speaker, I saw only 2 SATA cables, an I/O panel plate, the drivers and manual. That’s it.
At RM 270, it’s a good option for those looking for a HTPC setup, pair it with an AMD A4-3400 APU and it will certainly more capable than any AMD Fusion setup. Certainly worth considering if you’re heading the AMD APU path.
*Photos taken with the Canon Powershot G1X