The FM2+ platform can be a tough sell. The APUs are relatively inexpensive, but the CPU performance with a maximum of four threads often has other users looking to the AM3+ platform, or just at Intel in general. The GPU performance of the Kaveri processors is second to none, but anyone wanting to play modern games will likely want a standalone video card. A single GTX 750 or any other $130+ video card is going to thoroughly trounce the integrated graphics of the A10-7850K.
The power MOSFETs have extra support and cooling on the back of the board.
If there is one glimmer of promise for the FM2+ platform for enthusiasts it is the promise of HSA. If software can leverage the GPU power of the Kaveri APU, then we have a much more interesting and compelling solution for the budget enthusiast. AMD is further enhancing the value of their APUs with Mantle support, which takes a significant amount of CPU/driver overhead out of the equation. This will make the CPU portion of the APU a much more competitive option as compared to Intel products.
There really is no question that the Asus Crossblade Ranger is the cream of the crop when it comes to FM2+ motherboards. Better power management, outstanding firmware features and layout, inclusion of the Intel Gig-E chip and software layer, and probably the best onboard audio I have yet experienced. All of this wrapped up in Asus’ ROG branding and color scheme.
The top portion of the board features the extra buttons, dipswitches, and voltage monitoring points.
The price is not terrible for the package that a user gets. This really is a top notch motherboard that likely is being held back from consideration due to APU choices. Then again, the overall price of the top end APU and this board is about the same as the intel i7 4790K by itself. Price is certainly the most appealing feature of this particular combination.
If users decide to go on the AMD APU route, they have a very nice motherboard that they can rely upon without suffering the sticker shock of other Asus ROG boards. The layout is very good, and I especially like how multi-GPU solutions are addressed with the PEG spacing. The audio is again very good and provides excellent software support for users wanting to customize their listening experience. The Intel Gig-E controller is top of its class and provides some peace of mind when it comes to throughput and potential driver issues.
6+2 power phases are not as common on FM2+ boards as one would think. This particular layout really stresses outstanding cooling and space around the APU.
One last consideration for those who may be put off by the lower CPU performance at that particular pricepoint for AMD is that DX12 will be showing up next year, and should have the same effect on CPU performance as we see now with Mantle. More HSA software is on the horizon and programming languages are adapting to these new specifications. Hopefully AMD can further evangelize HSA and we see a wider adoption. Until that time, Kaveri plus the Asus Crossblade Ranger is a nicely performing combination with extensive features which will not empty out the pocketbook of the budget enthusiast. I highly recommend considering this board if building an AMD APU based solution. It is not all that much more expensive than competing products but has a host of features that justifies that extra cost.
finally! and not just the FM2
finally! and not just the FM2 APUs get love, the FM2 athlons as well!!
the FX boards are $$$$$$ so FM2 is a great budget.
Now we just have to wait for
Now we just have to wait for more AMD Mini-ITX boards to show up. I would think that an APU equipped system would be perfect for a Media Center PC.
they have some pretty small
they have some pretty small micro atx boards, just find the case of your choice and you are good to go.
won’t be mini itx but no bigger then an xbox.
… maybe post more game
… maybe post more game benchmarks, instead of the above posted benchmarks. I can think of no reason anyone would buy this board other than as a low to mid range gaming replacement.
I was considering approaching
I was considering approaching AMD about a gaming scenario with testing centered around that. I want to try out the Crossfire perf of say 2 x R9 285s in such a solution and see how it matches up with the i7 3770K or something like it.
No need to compare to an
No need to compare to an i7-3770k. AMD will have a hard enough time competing with an i5-2500k.
won’t be the highest end but
won’t be the highest end but don’t snuff your nose up at this board.
Quad core athlon with a beefy video card and you’ll have a pretty smoking system on the cheap.
well nice board, just hope
well nice board, just hope something comes along that is better than the 860quad core.
A high end m-itx FM2+ would
A high end m-itx FM2+ would sell well I think.
You mean something like this?
You mean something like this? http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4745#ov
Whenever someone reviews an
Whenever someone reviews an FM2 board they always say the end user could just buy a dedicated GPU and everything would be rosy. I think 95% of the pc community misses the point of AMD’s venture into APU and built in graphics: to give the end user an affordable decent gaming platform that does not need a dedicated GPU. Combine it with high performance ram, tweek the video settings and many games can be very playable. Just keep it in perspective, don’t expect the moon and the end user won’t be disappointed with these very affordable parts !
So, how much more FPS does it
So, how much more FPS does it give you compared to the other budget FM2+ boards for lots more of $$$? 1 or 2?
Also, AMD APUs’ CPU performance will bottleneck any mid-end X Fire or SLI setup. You’d need at leasr an i5 and this is just a fact, I’m not Intel fanboy, I always go with AMD whenever I can.
But a high-end FM2+ motherboard, it’s useless. Not worth it.
Current APUs are for budget gaming builds without the need to spend on a dedicated GPU, not this.
Athlon will stack up just
Athlon will stack up just fine with an i5
FM2+ isn’t just for APUs.
It is unfortunate that the
It is unfortunate that the TrueAudio portion is bundled in with the GPU on APUs. The Athlons don't enable that particular functionality. Not a big deal if you use a couple of R9 285s or R9 290s, but still… if you go for an NV part, you are out of luck.
Just bought this new
Just bought this new motherboard and doing a new install and the motherboard runs for one second and then shut down abruptly.
Your mention of the ASUS
Your mention of the ASUS Crosshair Extreme was a bit harsh to say the least.See it’s people like yourself that weren’t educated enough to know how the logix setup even worked and still don’t, so you dismiss it. Like alot of far advanced technology. To say I still crank mad benchmarks with this board do to the lack of support for the AMD chipset, there is not much to work with. Do to intel fanboys flipping noobs to that side of the road so AMD gets no true support in sales leading makers to build intel crap boards.