Of course we can't test the new APU without a motherboard, so with the chip we also received a new FM1 motherboard from Gigabyte. The board uses the higher spec A75 chipset and packs just about all connections and features one can expect from a modern motherboard. The box is covered with symbols for all the features and also promises the board + APU-combination to score 5600+ points in 3Dmark Vantage. We'll see about that!
The bundle is fairly limited, the board only comes with four S-ATA cables, a rear I/O shield, installation guide and user's manual. Then again, with legacy connections gone really the only thing missing is a cable for adding extra USB-ports to the PCI card slots.
The micro ATX-sized board is really stuffed full of connections and components. The FM1-socket is placed at the center of the board and it's worryingly close to the four DDR3-memory slots. Under the socket there are two physical PCI-e 16x connectors, one of which operates at the full 16x speed, while the second has to do with just 4x speed. Between these two there's a single PCI-e 1x and PCI-slot. Next to the card slots is a heat sink that covers the FCH (fusion controller hub).
There are no major flaws with the layout of the board, it would be nice if the memory slots were further away from the socket, but there's just no room. Long graphic cards will also make it impossible to add or remove memory sticks, but again, for mATX-board this isn't such a problem.
On the rear panel are a single PS/2-connection, four USB 2.0-ports, a single firewire, optical S/PDIF, e-sata and network port, two USB 3.0-ports and 7.1 audio jacks. For graphics connectivity there's a nice collection of connectors covering everything from D-SUB to display port.
The TDP of the FM1 socket processors ranges from 65 to 100 watts, so these boards don't need quite as massive voltage regulation as the more power hungry AM3-processors. The Gigabyte board uses 4+1 regulation for the APU.
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