ASUS F2A85-M Pro microATX FM2 Motherboard

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Fan Control

The F2A85-M Pro ships with FAN Xpert 2, ASUS' acclaimed fan control software. While there are plenty of fan control options in the UEFI/BIOS, FAN Xpert 2 expands on this, giving users a thoroughly customized experience. It can control all four fan headers on the F2A85-M Pro but the CPU_FAN header is limited to PWM control only, while the other three work with both 4-pin and 3-pin fans.

SpeedFan screen with correlations inputted.

If your fan control needs aren't specific, there are three preset options available on the main screen. If you prefer the customized route, click on the fan tuning option and wait as the system systematically tests each fan to determine its operable range.

SpeedFan screen with correlations inputted.

After tuning your fans, it determine the controllable range with the minimum value being more or less the equivalent of each individual fan's starting speed, that is the speed it runs at when just enough power is applied to get the fan spinning from a dead stop. For PWM fans, this value is usually fairly low but for 3-pin fans it can be a bit high, as in the case above where the controllable range starts at 56%. In reality, once a fan is spinning, the speed can be lowered below the starting level but ASUS doesn't want to take the chance of having a fan stop spinning and not be able to spin back up again in a timely fashion.

Fan headers can also be renamed and assigned a position on a case diagram to remind you of its physical location. If system is fully assembled and you'd rather not take off the side panel to figure out which fan is which, the application also has the ability to turn off the other fans temporarily for easy identification.

SpeedFan screen with correlations inputted.

Once your fans are tuned you can choose either dynamic or fixed control for every header. In the "Smart Mode" you can adjust the fan speed curve as well as adjust how quickly the fan reacts when revving down or revving up. One feature we'd love to see is the ability to selecting what temperature individual fans respond to but unfortunately the current system only reacts to the CPU temperature.

The lower limit of the controllable range becomes the fan's minimum speed no matter what mode you use. If you're keen on silence, it's best to avoid using high speed 3-pin fans as FAN Xpert 2 might not be able to lower their speeds enough for your liking. We should also note that SpeedFan, which we often use as an alternative to motherboard fan control software, doesn't support this board properly, at least not yet.

Boot Performance

To test boot time we optimize the BIOS menu by setting the hard drive and other delays set to minimum, taking care not to disable common functionality like USB support, POST messages, etc. and measure the time it takes to reach the Windows loading screen (we stop here because this is the point where the O/S drive speed becomes a factor).

The boot process on the F2A85-M Pro is very fast, hitting the Windows loading screen in a little over 10 seconds.

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