Asus F1A75-V Pro review

The desktop Llano board in the lead at the moment

TODO alt text

One of the things that really impressed us about the AMD A8-3850 Fusion APU was the amount of overclocking headroom there was in the chip.

We've been playing around with Stars-based AMD CPUs for a good while and we're rarely seen a chip take an almost 1GHz overclock before.

The Asus F1A75-V Pro was no bystander in this, being a key component to getting that speed out of the chip itself.

AMD supplied an MSI microATX FM1 board, the MSI A75M-G55, as part of the review kit and we could barely get a squeak out of it.

The Asus BIOS gave us full access to the Llano APU's baseclock; as it stands that's the only way to boost this multiplier-locked chip. That said the APU multiplier setting in the BIOS was susceptible to the odd tweak, displaying huge frequency boosts in Windows but offering no actual performance increase in the real-world.

Still, the F1A75-V Pro gave us an A8-3850 running happily at 3.7GHz.

Compared to the 2.9GHz stock speeds it comes with out of the box, that's a hefty ol' kick in the clocks.

Going along with that baseclock tweaking it also pushes up the DRAM frequency as well as the onboard graphics too, and yet it remained stable across the board.

Where the MSI board was initially reticent to allow us to up the memory frequency the Asus board was only too happy to oblige, indeed seeing the G.Skill RipJaws RAM at its native 1,600MHz speed straight out of the packaging.

Dual Graphics didn't present a problem for us either.

All it took was a single tweak in the BIOS to enable multi-monitor support and the board happily enabled the CrossFire settings in the Catalyst suite on booting into Windows.

In fact our only real snag with the board came on trying to plug in a discrete card alone, without running through the onboard graphics portion of the APU. After much installing and uninstalling we found our OS was now ignoring all devices plugged into the various USB ports despite our best attempts.

But that's a fairly minor thing.

With a board and chip coming in at around £200 all in you can afford to drop a £75 Radeon HD 6670 in as a Dual Graphics array and come up with some surprisingly playable frame rates.

While FM1-socket boards are still in their infancy, this Asus F1A75-V Pro is currently setting the bar high. With a combination of solid overclocking support and a decent feature set this board is going to be tough to beat.

We liked

The overclocking performance the board allowed us to squeeze out of the A8-3850 APU is thoroughly impressive. We wouldn't have known the untapped potential of the chip without it.

The A75-series boards all come laden down with purely SATA 6Gb/s ports, and a healthy smattering of USB 3.0 sockets too.

We disliked

Our only gripe came in the shape of the APU multiplier settings lying to us and a struggle trying to get the discrete cards running on their lonesome.

Final word

It's an impressive Asus debut for the A75-series of motherboards, giving the A8-3850 a serious platform.


Tech Specs

Product TypeDesktop Motherboard
Chipset ManufacturerAMD
Chipset ModelA75
Multi GPU SupportedCrossFireX
Onboard VideoNo
Number of PCI Express x16 Slots2
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Processor SocketSocket FM1
Brand NameAsus
Form FactorATX
Total Processor Supported1
Maximum Memory64 GB
64-bit ProcessingYes
Number of Memory Slots4
Number of PCI Slots3
Audio Channels7.1
Gigabit EthernetYes
Number of SATA Interfaces7
RAID SupportedYes
Number of Total Expansion Slots7
Number of Network (RJ-45) Ports1
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Total Number of USB Ports6
Number of USB 3.0 Ports4
PS/2 PortYes
Number of PS/2 Ports1
Total Number of Onboard USB Ports10
Number of Onboard USB 2.0 Ports8
PCI Express StandardPCI Express 2.0
Total Number of PCI Express Slots4
Memory Form FactorDIMM
Number of eSATA Ports1
Processor TechnologyTurbo CORE Technology
Width304.8 mm
Depth243.8 mm
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product ModelF1A75-V PRO
Product NameF1A75-V PRO Desktop Motherboard
Controller TypeSerial ATA/600
Manufacturer Part NumberF1A75-V PRO
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

This motherboard supports AMD A-& E2- series Accelerated Processor with AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series Graphics. This revolutionary APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) combines processing power and advanced DirectX 11 graphics in one small, energy-efficient design to enable accelerated performance and an industry-leading visual experience. It features Dual-channel DDR3 memory support and accelerates data transfer rate up to 5GT/s.