Introduction to the ASRock A55 Pro3 FM1 Motherboard
AMD had been working on their APU product line for a little while now and at the beginning of 2011 they released the first of their Fusion line of processors. The C and E Series of APUs were targeted at Netbooks, Nettops, Tablets or any other low powered system that needed more computational power than the rivaling ATOM line had to offer (you can see our review of the ASRock E350M1). Then on the final day in May, during Computex Taipei, AMD released their second APU under the A and E2 Series, with recently a sole Athlon II X4 631 which is minus the graphics core. These are based a tweaked Phenom II architecture with up to 4 Cores (less L3) and shrunk to 32nm, then paired with a discrete AMD Radeon HD5000 series graphics core, all under one roof. If you want to learn more about the AMD APUs then we suggest giving this AMD web page a look as it goes quite in depth.
What we get to look at today is our first motherboard that supports these new A and E2 Series "Llano"-based APUs, all thanks to our friends over at ASRock. They have sent over the A55 Pro3 board, which as the name implies is based on AMD's A55 FCH chip (or Fusion Controller Hub if you remember it first being mentioned back in the E350M1 review), and is the little brother to the A75 FCH. Both of these are what make up AMD's Lynx desktop platform and it is aptly named we think. The base specs on the A55 offer goodies like six SATA-II ports, fourteen USB2.0 connections, Gigabit Ethernet controller, among others. ASRock have also thrown in their own mix into this recipe for "awesome", which for a teaser includes support of DDR3-2400, so read on to find out just how this stacks up!