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Upgrading and Repairing PCs (21st Edition), by Scott Mueller (Que Publishing), starting at $33.98
Home » Motherboard
MSI FM2-A85XA-GD65 Motherboard
Author: Gabriel Torres
Type: First Look Last Updated: October 12, 2012
Page: 1 of 9
Introduction

The MSI FM2-A85XA-GD65, also known as MS-7793, is a motherboard based on the most high-end chipset for the new FM2 platform, the A85X (codenamed “Hudson D4”), and is targeted to the second-generation APUs from AMD, codename “Trinity.” Let’s see what this motherboard has to offer.

APU is a name that AMD coined for their CPUs with integrated video. They are also known as A-series, as models start with the letter “A” (A4, A6, A8, and A10).

There are three chipsets available for the new FM2 platform: A85X, A75, and A55. The A75 and A55 chipsets were released in 2011 with the FM1 platform, which is used by the first-generation of APUs from AMD. The A85X is a new chipset, released this month. In the table below, we compare the main differences between these three chipsets. As you can see, the main difference between the A85X and the A75 is the addition of two more SATA-600 ports on the A85X.

Feature

A85X

A75

A55

PCI Express 2.0 x1

4

4

4

USB 1.1

2

2

2

USB 2.0

10

10

14

USB 3.0

4

4

0

SATA-300

0

0

6

SATA-600

8

6

0

FIS-Based Switching

Yes

Yes

No

UMI

2 GB/s

2 GB/s

2 GB/s

“FIS-based switching” is an eSATA port multiplier technology, which allows you to install more than one hard drive to a single SATA port. Click here to learn more. UMI stands for Unified Media Interface; it is the interface that connects the CPU to the chipset.

AMD APUs have an embedded PCI Express 2.0 controller, with one PCI Express 2.0 x16 port and four PCI Express 2.0 x1 ports. Second-generation APUs allow the x16 port to be divided into two x8 ports. It is important to understand that this is a feature provided by the processor, not by the chipset.

The FM2A85X doesn’t support the Virtu Universal MVP, which allows you to combine the performance of the integrated graphics processor available in the CPU with the performance of any video card installed, a feature that is available on some competing products.

In Figure 1, you see the MSI FM2-A85XA-GD65 motherboard. It is based on the standard ATX form factor (12 x 9.6 inches or 305 x 244 mm).

MSI FM2-A85XA-GD65 motherboard
click to enlarge
Figure 1: MSI FM2-A85XA-GD65 motherboard

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