BIOS, System Setup and Notes
Gigabyte's UEFI BIOS is easy to navigate and, as expected a stripped-down version of those found on higher-end boards. Adjusting voltages (middle picture) is a little annoying as there's no way of knowing the maximum amount without having to cycle through every setting; you can't key in a desired voltage and neither can you reduce the voltage below default: undervolting. Instead, the CPU's and northbridge's goes up to +0.3V, while memory ranges from 1.20V to 1.90V.
Memory frequencies run in dividers all the way up to 2,400MHz, but don't be surprised if your RAM doesn't manage to go that high on an FM2 platform. Tweaks to the base clock can push the frequency even higher; the various busses are are linked in together. On-chip graphics benefit from a boost in speed, and an A10-5800's default 800MHz clock can be changed from 300MHz (why?) to an improbable 2,000MHz.
Fan speed, on the other hand, is better. The CPU and two system fans can be controlled via voltage or PWM, and the user can determine the fan-speed slope if setting manually, though bear in mind that both system fans are tied to one joint profile. To be absolutely fair to Gigabyte, micro-ATX motherboards haven't traditionally been hot on enthusiast-type BIOSes; this one is perfectly functional and sets out the various parameters in a clean-looking layout.
System setup and notes
|Motherboard||Gigabyte F2A85XM-D3H||ASRock FM2A75 Pro4-M||Gigabyte F2A85X-UP4||ASRock A75M-ITX|
|Chipset driver||AMD Catalyst 12.8 SB|
|Processor||AMD A10-5800K||AMD A8-3870K|
|Memory||Patriot IEM 8GB (2x4GB)|
|Memory timings||9-9-9-24-1T @ 1,600MHz|
|Graphics||AMD HD 7660D (onboard)||AMD HD 6550D (onboard)|
|Graphics driver||AMD Catalyst 12.8|
|Disk drive||Samsung 830 Series 256GB SSD|
|Chassis||Corsair Graphite 600T|
|Power supply||Corsair AX750|
|Operating system||Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit|
CPU and memory benchmarks
||Our number-crunching benchmark stresses a single core by calculating Pi to 10m places|
||An all-encompassing test to evaluate system performance|
|CINEBENCH 11.5||Using Cinebench's multi-CPU render, this cross-platform benchmark stresses all cores|
|3DMark 11||DX11, run with the entry preset|
|3DMark Vantage||DX10, run at the default performance preset|
|DiRT Showdown||DX9, 1,280x720 medium-quality settings|
|Power consumption||While idling and when running CINEBENCH and DiRT: Showdown|
We're throwing the Gigabyte micro-ATX board up against another one in the form of the ASRock A75 and, to obtain a wider picture of the AMD desktop landscape, against a top-line A85X board from Gigabyte, thereby showing you just how well the cheaper board stacks up against an offering that's designed for performance. We've also added in numbers from an ASRock Mini-ITX board running the last-generation A8-3870K APU. The purpose here is to evaluate, as a platform, the advances made by AMD and its partners over the last 18 months or so.