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  • Antronman - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    It's Asus.
    Of course it's going to be recommended.
    Every fool knows Asus is #1
  • yannigr - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    And those who are not fools? What do they think about ASUS? :P Reply
  • HanzNFranzen - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - link

    lol!! =) Reply
  • Yorgos - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    I am really happy with asrock extreme6+, which packs more features
    +1 64 Mbit Flash ROM (awesome feature)
    +1 HDMI (4 monitors in total)
    -1 eSata (instead of 2 on the asus)
    -2 usb2.0
    +1 Sata
    + power and reset buttons (f* great feature)
    + doesn't make you look like a pimp with gold teeth
    +Wake on LAN
    + cheaper for around 20 € in my country than the asus
    In my opinion you CANNOT beat those feature with a better price and better benchmarks.
    That's why I never read the conclusions, If I wanted an opinion I could ask also my dog, both of them have the same value.
  • Alexvrb - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    What about PWM (4-pin) fan headers? If I was in the market for this kind of board, this A88X Pro would be the one I'd get, just because of its abundance of 4-pin connectors (5 of them). Most ATX A88X boards have... 3? With maybe one or two 3-pins to go with them. Yeah, you can get splitters (better get well-made ones) but then you can only monitor the speed of one of the connected fans per motherboard header. Reply
  • Antronman - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - link

    And it's ASUS quality.
  • Alexvrb - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - link

    Which, most of the time, means it's good. I've been burned over the years by most of the major manufacturers at least once, including Asus. Sometimes it's a hardware/design issue, sometimes it's software/firmware. On occasion it was a problem with the chipset itself, and not entirely the manufacturers fault. About the most solid boards I used were by Epox, hilariously enough.

    But yes, overall I'd consider Asus to generally produce good boards, particularly if you're buying one of their "premium" models.
  • tuklap - Friday, April 25, 2014 - link

    I just hope Asrock placed anti surge ic's and esd protections :( Reply
  • just4U - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    In my opinion none of this matters until they finally release the A8- 7X series processors. Don't know about the rest of you but I've been eyeing it for multiple builds simply because of it's price/performance ratio. I'd expected it to be release already. Reply
  • HiTechObsessed - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    My problem with these APUs is something like the A10-7850k costs $180, or you can get the 750k for $80, and a 7770 GHz for $100 and blow the 7850k out of the water in performance. APUs don't make sense on large boards like this when you can pair the same CPU up with a dedicated GPU and get much more gaming power. Reply
  • Ortanon - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    EXACTLY. I've been scratching my head on this one. The only possible argument would be that you can cram more gaming into a smaller case, but that's an idiotic argument because 1) who the hell is so desperate to fit a system down to the millimeter and 2) the real-life difference between mini-ITX and micro-ATX cases is often one or two inches in any given dimension.

    So ultimately Kaveri is, unfortunately, a bust. A moot point. A waste of precious R&D resources. And it's such a shame.

    On the bright side, all they'd have to do is adjust the price point. A lot.
  • Topweasel - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    Obviously you haven't tried to build a computer in SG05 or Ncase M1. Not every ITX case is Prodigy or 250D. Most are much much much smaller in all dimensions than most mATX cases. I would say it's more of the ATX vs mATX that's always bothered me. More often than not an mATX case isn't much smaller than a well spaced full ATX mid tower.

    That said this motherboard is about as useless as one could be. I see why they are doing it. They want full sized full featured ATX boards for the AMD platform, but with AMD almost completely shutting down AM3+ developments, the future of AMD's platforms is in the FM2 and up. Spending 200$ on a full ATX system just to use integrated video doesn't make sense. I guess one could say there is more performance and power savings when tied to discrete AMD GPU. But APU's are at their best when they are the sole source of video. Certainly not worth spending i5 money otherwise. Which is why it would work best in an ITX setup where both space and cooling are enough of a issue that one would rather do without a discrete card if possible.
  • PEJUman - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    ^^ This

    I was able to purchase the 7850K for 120 at local microcenter and a Asrock A88X-ITX+ for 100 at newegg. At $220 combined price, Kaveri is very hard to pass up. yes, you can get cheaper systems, but it's price/performance/size/power ratio is unique. This is no longer the case if you approach $300. They really need to drop the price down to around 100 for the CPU.
  • just4U - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    I'd have to agree with that.. Which is why I am waiting on the A8s Their supposed to be priced in and around 90-120 which is somewhat of a sweet spot. As we move up to the 150-180 dollar A10s that drops off a little as you could always pair a discrete card (say a GDR5 240 or something) and blow it all out of the water. Reply
  • BinaryTB - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    HTPCs. Lower heat, lower noise, lower power consumption.

    CPU and graphics don't matter much if you can decode high bitrate video in hardware and put it all in a small package.

    The same argument could be used for laptops as well.

    But I do agree with you, if you have a desktop and want performance, separates is the way to go.
  • eanazag - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    Power consumption and heat are the difference. I do agree with just4U that I really just wanted the A8-7600. With the price about a $100 it makes more sense to me. I think the OEMs cried for it so we got shafted in channel. Reply
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    I'm guessing as to what you'd want: A <95Watt TDP APU, which still has the biggest GPU AMD can make... I think you're willing to sacrifice CPU clock for low TDP, but not graphics performance and would like to hit the 65 or 45 Watt "sweet spots", right?

    Well you don't need to actually wait for anything: These APUs are all one single die anyway, including all the mobile variants (once they come).

    And, at least on Asus, you have the ability to configure your desired TDP in the BIOS, at least between 40 (could be 45) and 65 Watts.

    Here is what happens:
    You leave that setting alone, you'll get a 95Watts part, which means 3.7 GHz base, while it will clock to 4.0GHz as long as the thermal budget lasts.

    You set it to any number between 65 and 40/45 and you'll get exactly that: An APU which will fiddle with GPU and CPU budgets until they meet your TDP limit.

    You use single threaded CPU load at 45Watts TDP, you may well get 4.0 GHz for quite a while.

    You use tons of GPU, your CPU may well slow to the 1 GHz range (actually I believe it won't drop below 1.6GHz).

    So with previous generation APUs like Trinity and Richmond the TDP settings were hard-wired into the die before packaging and sale. With Kaveri, from what I am seeing, there is really just two variants: One with 512 graphic cores enabled and one with 384 graphic cores enabled. Everything else is configuration done completely in software, which is just perfect from where I stand ;-)

    I can buy a Kaveri today and push it to its absolute limits with heavy overclock on a "Pro" mainboard and I can transfer it into a mini-ITX board tomorrow and tell it to never use beyond 45Watts and it will just do as it was told!

    Completely anti-market-segmentation and just the way I like it as a *consumer*.
  • pidgin - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    I really regret going with ASRock FM2A88X Killer+, nothing but memory problems, basically no driver updates on driver page, ughh Reply
  • tuklap - Friday, April 25, 2014 - link

    seems that you have to take it unto asrock.. I was targetting ASRock FM2A88X Killer+ too but when I read some problems and noticed that there are no driver updates i switched my eye to asrock fm2+ extreme6+ ^_^ never had problems.. although I wish they have esd protections and anti-surge ic's placed on the board. also they should have made it sturdier.

    all in all quite happy.

    this board is solid. but the thing here is it lacks on board switches for power and reset
  • tech6 - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    I'm sure this is a great boar but none of this matters until AMD release a CPU that is power consumption and performance competitive with what Intel is currently offering. The AMD on board graphics are great but the rest of the CPU and the power consumption are currently simply not competitive. Reply
  • duploxxx - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    hmm, lets see in results with mid lvl gpu its actually very close to the intel ones. Other cpu benchmarks are pure synthetic and useless for daily tasks or observations. so yeah you are right there is no usecase for narrow minded people Reply
  • Bucky_Beaver - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    Hmm so Adobe After Effects are useless for daily tasks or observations? Good to know, I guess.. Reply
  • CHADBOGA - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    Yeah the best way to judge a CPU's performance, is clearly in a GPU limited benchmark. Reply
  • coburn_c - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    AMD doesn't care about black processors. erm.. performance... AMD doesn't care about performance processors. So I no longer care about AMD. Sad day but like with an addict you have to draw a tough line. Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    There is one feature that might cause someone to buy an AMD system over Intel - namely, 8x SATA3 ports vs's Intel's 6. So what does ASUS do? They go and waste two of those ports on eSATA. Good job ASUS designers, do you know what would be even better? A D-SUB connector in 2014... oh wait. Reply
  • Alexvrb - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - link

    The eSATA ports are way more useful to me than a couple of extra internal connectors, especially in a pedestrian FM2+ configuration. This isn't meant for a server. There are other FM2+ boards if you are building a NAS or home server. I have never needed that many internal drives on any regular user-facing box (again, not a server). Reply
  • fteoath64 - Thursday, April 24, 2014 - link

    Great points!. Yes, 8 sata internal connectors would be a great way to go as many users would want a home server NAS system. However, here is one opportunity where AMD is missing. Getting into that market with several Kaveri variants that has far more value that Gpu grunt and HSA features. It is power savings and using heterogenous cores. Picture this, a Kaveri with 2 SR cores and 4 puma cores with ability for SR cores to be powered off! And all GCN but one core active at low power (eg 200MHz). This is the NAS mode and should not pull more than 25w TDP. So while gaming, one SR core pushes 4.5Ghz, second SR core doing 3.6Ghz while puma cores running 2.5Ghz doing I/O and caching. We really want dynamic TDP adjustment at the BIOS level to manage the system. Reply
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    In these days of "device" craze, it's easy to forget what a PC is all about: Expandability!

    And what these boards offer are mainly slots: Lots of usable, unhampered, wide slots, which you can use for everything that fits inside!

    Not just graphics!

    Ok, so you ask: "What's there that still needs to be fit, when everything is already on-board?"

    And I say: "Things to come, things which aren't commodity yet!"

    And since that's my job, evaluating these things for our corporate data centers, that's what I do: Play around with (what used to be) new stuff like FusionIO, 10Gbit Ethernet, GPU compute etc.

    And in that environment I've come to like these AMD APU boards with plenty of wide slots and ports as well as IOMMU support, lots of RAM capacity and mostly even with ECC support.

    I run them in my home lab taking the "goods" like FusionIO SSDs, 10GB NICs etc. temporarily from my corporate test lab to my home lab, where experimenting is often a lot faster, with open cases under my desk instead of rack-mount servers inside the computer room.

    But I also use them to run as ordinary home servers, where 8 SATA ports, plenty of RAM, good-enough CPU and GPU also allow for very flexible yet quiet servers I an afford to run 24x7 on my home power bill.

    They are very, very flexible, which of course also means they aren't perfect at anything: They aren't the lowest power or highest performing systems which I'd need and use in *production*. But when you want "Lego"-like flexibility to try things out, they are really great and very affordable.

    And now I'm ready to start with my griping:

    AFAIK there are none of the stupid (well actually Intel would think them smart...) limitations that Intel's chipsets have on AMD's platform: Where Intel used to give you only 16 usable PCIe lanes off the CPU, but only allowed you to use them for a GPU (early Intel variants shut off on-board graphics if you inserted a PCIe x8 RAID controller into the CPU slot!) AMD never knew such restrictions. On Intel such things as "bifurication", which is nothing but splitting the 16 lanes into two pairs of 8x, are *luxury* you need to pay at least by going to a Z-chipset, or if you actually would like to combine it with VT-D aka IOMMU best with a C-chipset, of course only combinable with server CPUs.

    I'll save you the gory details on the Intel side, most likely you are painfully aware of them anyway.

    But with AMD, AFAIK, these limitations do not exist: You can put plenty of 16x slots on your board and while the total number of lanes is of course also fixed by what the CPU/APU supports, the allocation to slots and integrated devices is pretty flexible: The more cards you actually insert, the lower the number of lanes per slot. On the other hand with PCIe 3.0 even a single lane is rather OK for a 10Gbit NIC.

    Yet I find that with these FM2+ board, which should not suffer the Intel restrictions, those very same restrictions are *replicated*!

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe there is no reason, why you shouldn't be able to buy an FM2+ board with 3x PCIe x16 slots, which should work with 8/8/4 PCIe 3.0 out of the box (perhaps 8/4/4 3.0, which still beats the pants off most entry level Intel offerings): Yet you simply can't have it, unless you go to one of these "Pro" boards.

    On the Intel side, yes the 100% price uplift vs. entry would be "justified" by having to resort to some sort of PLX PCIe bridge, but on AMD?

    On the Intel side, yes, the 3rd slot would be "not recommended" for anything requiring serious bandwidth, because no matter what how many lanes or what speed you'd see at the slot, it would still have to pass through a 4x PCIe 1.0 bottleneck between CPU and what's left of the South Bridge.

    But for an AMD board to down-grade to PCIe 2.0 or even 1.0 on the 3rd slot seems more like "feature emulation" than a technical requirement!

    So why is there this "Pro" price gap, "emulating" a similar gap on the Intel side, *when there is no reason beyond marketing?*

    Of course I understand why ASUS and their fellow competitors are doing this, but could Anandtech kindly expose that nonsense and discreetly step on some toes?

    I don't actually mind paying a little premium to have more usable 16x PCIe slots as well as a generally higher quality motherboard.

    But since my use case isn't trying to emulate an Intel 2011 based gaming rig on the the cheap, I'm not nearly as concerned about overclocking as I am about idle power consumption or plain old stability (and that would include ECC support, please, pretty please!)

    And on these "Pro" motherboards everything screams about "burn but don't melt" not about "cool and will last forever".

    And Anandtech not mentioning power consumption even with a single word, leads me to believe that whoever is using these boards, doesn't have power efficiency on his mind. I've achieved 18Watts on idle desktop using Richmond APUs on ASUS motherboards and I think that's "allright" even if Intel's BayTrail SoCs can scratch 10 Watts off that score. 40+ Watts, however, would signal a resounding "no-go".

    Acceptable power efficiency is *exactly* why I'd by one of these: The ability to replace a DL980 class server for quite a few of my virtualization, solid state storage and SDN experiments, while it delivers a home-server and even a 24x7 desktop including some "shoot-them-up" before signing off.

    Yes it wouldn't be best at anything, but it would a do a darn good job at replacing quite a few "optimal" systems for the things I do: Great value for an affordable price!
  • mikato - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - link

    Wow, I completely agree. Nice comment. I remember getting 2 full x16 PCI express lanes on my motherboard, and plenty of SATA connectors when I built my Phenom II X4 965 machine. I told a couple friends who built Intel and they were surprised. Well, Intel is artificially limiting things for price segmentation power, that's just the way it is. Reply
  • mattgmann - Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - link

    Dear AMD, Intel, Nvidia and to whomever else this may concern.

    Please come up with new naming schemes for your motherboards/chipsets/processors/gpus etc. The practice of enumerating your products very closely to that of your competitors is stupid. And though you may claim it to be coincidence, or just following your historic naming schemes, your are lying.

    It is not a coincidence that Intel offers the Z87, and AMD the A88X. I am too many scotches deep to provide more examples in this rant, but they abound. It's a crappy marketing practice and just a sign of lazy and uncreative work in their respective departments.

    P.S. If any of these companies would like help giving their products creative, attractive names that their intended clientele can relate to, such as "Under the desk dustbox Xtreme", "Mom's basement Earthquake Generator", "Better than apple in an Ironic way (hipster edition)", or perhaps "Extra Core Overcompensator (AMD special)"... Please feel free to contact me, or one of my minions.
  • mikato - Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - link

    "ASUS has suggested that my review CPU from AMD is from an initial batch of A10-7850K which may have higher-than-retail leakage issues. We are currently investigating this further."

    "Signs may point towards early batch of Kaveri processors that draw higher current, or the silicon lottery."

    Wow, does this mean you are going to rerun the power consumption numbers from the Kaveri review and give us new graphs? You really should.

    "we take a series of 170 images in various sizes and formats and convert them all into 640x480 .gif files, maintaining the aspect ratio"

    I'm just curious how that's possible? Do you use blank bars on the sides? Or do they all have the same length:width ratio to match 640x480 to begin with?
  • Hrel - Thursday, April 24, 2014 - link

    "A side note: we are looking into the restarting flaw that seems to occur during our specialised benchmark under high CPU load. Signs may point towards early batch of Kaveri processors that draw higher current, or the silicon lottery. We need to get a newer one in to retest our Photoscan benchmark."

    The fact that you still recommended this motherboard, despite the above quote, makes this sites recommendations meaningless. You're AMD bias is only going to do harm, not good. Please stop yourselves from showing such obvious favoritism. AMD platforms are less stable than Intel, this is a long known fact.
  • silverblue - Sunday, April 27, 2014 - link

    And this is the sort of FUD that AMD and its customers have to put up with. Reply
  • Haravikk - Sunday, April 27, 2014 - link

    It's nice to see AMD still getting some good performance motherboards. This said, I have to say I really prefer the layout of the ASRock FM2A88-ITX+ motherboard, and wish more motherboards would do something similar. While it does get a little tight on the CPU cooler to have the memory angled "horizontally" towards the "top" of the motherboard, it just gives much better airflow and cooler RAM in general; I wish more manufacturers would do this, and just leave cooler manufacturers to adapt. Reply

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