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ASUS A88X-Pro FM2+ Motherboard Review

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ASUS A88x-ProIt is best to gauge a motherboard manufacturer’s capabilities not at their worst or even at their best, but at a crossroad where their design and manufacturing philosophy is put in a scenario that would force them to decide what compromise (if any) is necessary to be competitive. With the availability of the latest AMD APUs, it seems that now is a good time to see what ASUS’ “Pro” offering provides at $120 USD. Considering their Z87 Pro and X79 Pro models have the luxury of a $200+ price tag, naturally high-end components and features are still expected on the A88X-Pro, but to what extent?

Review Sample Provided by: ASUS
Product Name:
A88X-Pro Motherboard
MSRP: $129 USD
Product was given in exchange for work done to produce this review.

Unlike its more expensive Intel Z87 chipset counter-part, the Pro version of the ASUS A88X is leaner, suited toward mid-range market. The box follows the gold/yellow color scheme of the ASUS 2013-release segment motherboards with the unique board features showcased in print in the front and back. Inside are two compartments separated by a white cardboard containing the golden motherboard itself protected inside an anti-static bag on the top while all the rest of the accessories are relegated in the bottom compartment.

ASUS A88x-Pro Motherboard Packaging

ASUS A88x-Pro Motherboard Packaging ASUS A88x-Pro Motherboard Packaging

Two pairs of SATA cables are included, two of which have a 90 degree connector while the other two are straight on both ends. Like all motherboards, an IO shield as well as a user’s guide with a driver disc is also included. Unique to ASUS boards however is the inclusion of a small packet containing the Q-connector kit, two pieces of labeled cable-end adapters for convenient front panel connector installation.

ASUS A88x-Pro Motherboard Accessories

 

Specifications:

 CPU AMD Socket FM2+ Athlon™/A- Series Processors
Supports CPU up to 4 cores
Supports AMD® Turbo Core 3.0 Technology
* Refer to www.asus.com for CPU support list
Chipset AMD A88X (Bolton D4)
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 2400(O.C.)/2250(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133/1866/1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Support AMD Memory Profile (AMP) memory
* The Max. 64GB memory capacity can be supported with DIMMs of 16GB (or above). ASUS will update QVL once the DIMMs are available on the market.
* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs.
* Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
* Due to OS limitation, when installing total memory of 4GB capacity or more, Windows® 32-bit operation system may only recognize less than 3GB. Install a 64-bit Windows® OS when you want to install 4GB or more memory on the motherboard.
Graphic Integrated AMD Radeon™ R/HD8000/HD7000 Series Graphics in the A-Series  APU
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DVI/RGB/DisplayPort ports
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz*1
- Supports DVI with max. resolution 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
- Supports RGB with max. resolution 1920 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
- Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz
Maximum shared memory of 2048 MB
AMD® Dual Graphics technology support *2
Multi-GPU Support Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX™ Technology
Expansion Slots 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8) *3
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode)
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1
2 x PCI
Storage AMD A88X FCH(Bolton D4) chipset :
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), yellow
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD
LAN Realtek® 8111GR, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
AUDIO Realtek® ALC1150 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
USB Ports AMD A88X FCH(Bolton D4) chipset :
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
AMD A88X FCH(Bolton D4) chipset :
10 x USB 2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, black, 8 at mid-board)
ASMedia® ASM1042 controller :
2 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue)
Special Features ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 4 with 4-Way Optimization :
- The tuning key perfectly consolidates ASUS-exclusive DIGI+ Power Control, TPU, EPU, and Fan Xpert 2 optimize the digital power setting, system performance, power saving and whole system cooling configuration
ASUS 5X Protection :
- ASUS DIGI+ VRM – 6 + 2 Phase digital power design
- ASUS Enhanced DRAM Overcurrent Protection – Short circuit damage prevention
- ASUS ESD Guards – Enhanced ESD protection
- ASUS High-Quality 5K-Hour Solid Capacitors – 2.5x long lifespan with excellent durability
- ASUS Stainless Steel Back I/O – 3x more durable corrosion-resistant coating
ASUS EPU :
- EPU switch
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- GPU Boost
- Remote GO!
- USB BIOS Flashback
- MemOK!
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger+
- USB Charger+ *4
- Anti-Surge
- Low EMI Solution
- ESD Guards
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
- Network iControl
- USB 3.0 Boost
- Disk Unlocker
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
- Stylish Fanless Design Heat-pipe solution
- ASUS Fan Xpert 2
ASUS EZ DIY :
- DirectKey
- Precision Tweaker 2
- ASUS O.C. Tuner
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS MyLogo 2
- ASUS USB BIOS Flashback
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
- Multi-language BIOS
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-Connector
Operating System Windows® 8.1 , 32bit/64bit
Windows® 8 , 32bit/64bit
Windows® 7 , 32bit/64bit
Windows® XP , 32bit
Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x DVI
1 x D-Sub
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
4 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
Internal I/O Ports 1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
4 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 8 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x COM port(s) connector(s)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
4 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
1 x DirectKey Button(s)
1 x DRCT header(s)
1 x MemOK! button(s)
1 x TPU switch(es)
1 x EPU switch(es)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback button(s)
Accessories User’s manual
ASUS Q-Shield
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1)
BIOS 64 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 2.0a, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3, F12 PrintScreen Function, F3 Shortcut Function and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information
Support Disc  Drivers, ASUS utilities, ASUS Update, Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Form Factor  ATX
NOTE *1: *Only FM2+ APU can support up to 4096 x 2160 resolution display via HDMI port.
*2: Refer to HYPERLINK “http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/dual-graphics/Pages/dual-graphics.aspx”http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/dual-graphics/Pages/dual-graphics.aspx#3 for the discrete GPUs which support Dual Graphics technology.
*3: Only FM2+ Processors can support PCIe3.0.
*4 USB Charger+ is only supported in Windows®7 and later versions.

About Ron Perillo

Ron has love for technology that is only narrowly eclipsed by his relentless desire for consuming baked goods. He has also recently contracted the modding bug and has been admitted at Modders Inc. for treatment, reviewing the latest hardware and learning from North America's best modders on how to deal with this affliction.

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