ASRock FM2A85X-ITX Review

Editor: Gavin Bonshor  Date: 15-04-13   0 Comment(s) - Join the discussion here
Conclusion

Having had the chance to get to grips with the ASRock FM2A85X-ITX motherboard, we could tell ASRock were trying to blend in stylish and sleek aesthetics with a range of high end components. Did they succeed in combining the latest A85X chip on such a small board or did being on the smaller platform hinder the performance?

Starting with the fact that the motherboard is Mini-ITX, it is the perfect small solution for the likes of home media centres etc. For its size itís a mini powerhouse, oozes style and from our overclocking results it's no slouch. It really does compete with the big boys on the platform so to speak. Overclocking wise the board did very well considering but we did however have issues reaching the potential of our chip and we found the BLCK to be quite frigid with its readings. There was no setting to change the FSB and in CPU-Z it would read out as 99.82MHz. With that being said, the 4.4GHz and 950MHz on the GPU core was pretty impressive given the small 4+2 power phase the board packs. With only 1 x 4 PIN 12v slot to power the CPU, this board is a diamond in the rough and easily rivals the bigger boards in terms of it's ability. The power consumption levels are well in line with the competition which means the 4+2 power phases are of good quality.

When it comes to looks, this board really shines. Itís a lovely blend of black, brown and grey, and is very aesthetically pleasing. Everything you could need is on the board and we were happy with the amount of connections we had available. The extra SATA3 ports that come as a result of the latest A85X chipset is a pretty big selling point, especially for those with multiple SSDs and SATA3 HDDs. With the current price drops on SSDs which means multiple options such as RAID0 or RAID1 are now possible for those on a budget.



Due to its size, FM2A85X-ITX doesn't support CPU coolers that require a backplate. As a result, if you are wanting to use an existing cooler that necessitates this, you may have to re-think and choose something else.

On the performance front, FM2A85X-ITX operates exactly as it should and even better, exactly how we think it should. It is on par with the other big guns on the A85X chipset and we have grown accustom to what FM2 is capable of. With solid results in synthetic benchmarks and games we really struggled to find flaws in our testing and are satisfied. The only real disadvantage is the lack of base clock adjustment but we canít really take anything away from ASRock as they have done a really good job by providing a small but pretty powerful budget solution to the market.

If you are looking for a cheap but capable solution for a small home media PC, looking for something to do a bit of light gaming or want to solidify the foundation of your build with a cracking piece of kit, the ASRock FM2A85X-ITX is a board you really should consider. Given the features and performance it would be hard to ignore and truly deserves our Gold award, well done ASRock.

Pros
+ Stylish
+ Good overclocking performance
+ Price
+ Good connectivity

Cons
- Lack of FSB overclocking
- Slightly off base clock
- Cant use coolers with backplate mounts




Click here for an explanation of our awards at Vortez.net.



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