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ASRock FM2A85X Extreme6 FM2 Motherboard

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Closer look

The FM2A85X Extreme6 is one of three motherboards to be released by ASRock based on AMD’s newest A85X socket FM2 platform, also known as Hudson D4. This particular platform is meant to go directly with the new Trinity APU the A10-5800K Quad-Core, and so that is what we will be using in our testing.

The FM2A85X Extreme6 is a beautifully laid out ATX motherboard with everything integrated being placed on a dark brown PCB (which some may actually say is black). The accents come in the form of the black slots and gold capacitors, with a touch of the purpleish-gray that the solid chokes lend.

ASRock uses an 8+2 power phase arrangement for the APU, with digital PWM adjustment, providing 6 phases for the CPU portion with the +2 supplying the iGPU and IMC. The phase is designed to deliver quality and ample power to get a high level of stable overclocking from the whole APU package.

The area around the socket is well laid out to where you should have no issues installing any size air-cooler. The only potential clearance issue that may arise would be from the lone VRM heat sink. Like we stated earlier the board is designed to be used with AMD FM2 processors which would include the following:

CPU

Speed (GHz)

Turbo (GHz)

Watts

Cores

GPU

A10—5800K

3.8

4.2

100

4

7660D

A10-5700

3.4

4.0

65

4

7660D

A8-5600K

3.6

3.9

100

4

7560D

A8-5500

3.2

3.7

65

4

7560D

A6-5400K

3.6

3.8

65

2

7540D

A4-5300

3.4

3.6

65

2

7480D

The Extreme6 uses a single 8-pin EPS for APU power delivery, fairly SOP these days. Fan connectivity comes by way of four 3-pin headers and has a total of six fan headers with four using 3-pins and two using 4-pin PWN. For a little extra stability to the PCIe lane's power supply, ASRock has included a standard 4-pin Molex connector above the first x1 PCIe slot.

One of the things we have been waiting for Intel to do, something that AMD has had for awhile, is to offer more than two SATA-III 6Gb/s ports. AMD has now implemented a total of eight of these ports into their A85X FCH, up two from the A75 which was top dog of the Llano series. Seven of them are location on the edge of the board in the image below with one residing in the I/O area of the board for eSATA, no additional third party add-in chips necessary for all of this SATA-III lovin'. All ports support RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10, along with Hot-Plug capability.

Just like the SATA controller the, PCI lanes are also controlled by the A85X and are still natively supported on all desktop FCH models . In the case of the FM2A85X there are three x16 length slots, with only the first operating at full x16 bandwidth when a single card is installed. When a second card is installed these changes to x8/x8. The last and final slot operates at x4 regardless, as you can see in the picture being only electrically x4. There are also two of each PCIe x1 and standard PCI slots.

The APU processors natively support memory frequencies up to 1866MHz (with the exception of the A4-5300's DDR3-1600), but the motherboard itself supports frequencies of up to DDR3-2600 when overclocking. There are a total of four DIMM slots for a total support 64 GB of memory. [Editor's Note: Please keep in mind that in order to utilize 64GB of memory that not only will you need an x64 flavor of OS, but also a non-Home edition. Win7 Home-Professional can only utilize a maximum of 16GB and Home-Basic just 8GB, a far cry short of 64GB. Win8 is 128GB in the base version, 512GB in the Pro and Enterprise. See: Here for the limitations on all past and present Windows OSes.  And now you know...yadda-yadda... G.I. JJOOEEEEE!!] 

Like any good enthusiast motherboard, the FM2A85X has an integrated power and reset switch right on the PCB. Good for those that likes to test in the open air. Of even more use, the clr_CMOS also is button resettable, and is located on the back panel as you can see on the last picture. An additional worthy note is that ASRock has kept the extreme-cooling enthusiasts in mind as well, providing a socketed BIOS to easily swap in different chips for your convenience.

  • 1x PS/2 Combo
  • 6x USB ports (4x USB3.0, A85X & ASMedia ASM1042)
  • 1x eSATA3 6Gb/s
  • 1x LAN port (Realtek RTL8111E)
  • 7.1 channel audio (Realtek ALC898)
  • 4x Graphic ports (DVI, VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort)
  • clr CMOS (Red LED illuminated)