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The ASUS F2A85-M Pro is packed full of features including the common four video outputs, seven SATA and one eSATA port, two USB 3.0 controllers, two PCI Express 16x slots (though they're not 3.0) and Lucid's Virtu GPU virtualization technology. FAN Xpert 2 is also a big boon, an "X" factor in our opinion, for what is supposed to be a reasonably priced motherboard for a budget platform. Having four, highly configurable fan headers is very handy and should be a highly coveted feature among our readership we've lamented the fact that it's only been available on high-end LGA1155 motherboards thus far. The board only lacks high-end add-ons like Bluetooth, WiFi, and FireWire.
The F2A85-M Pro is also fairly energy efficient and while the VRM heatsink is a little undersized, it does an adequate job at stock settings. We're not sure how it would hold up with a heavy overclock though. The UEFI/BIOS has all the voltage/frequency/timing options one would expect from an enthusiast class motherboard and the "K" series APUs have unlocked multipliers to make overclocking easier.
As the F2A85-M Pro is the first FM2 board we've tested, we can't say with any confidence whether it's better or worst than any of its direct competitors. What we can say is, like AMD's new APUs, it provides a very well-rounded experience and great value. You won't find an Intel motherboard in the same price range that offers a similar or better feature-set and if you're looking for FAN Xpert 2 (or an equivalent) on any motherboard close to the F2A85-M Pro's US$125 price, you're simply out of luck.
Our thanks to ASUS
for the F2A85-M Pro motherboard sample.
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ASUS F2A85-M Pro
wins the SPCR Editor's Choice
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Intel DZ77GA-70K Z77 Motherboard: Waiting for Ivy Bridge
Sandy Bridge Extreme: Core i7-3960X LGA2011 Processor
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this article in the SPCR forums.
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