A short while back we gave the ECS A75-F a once-over. Today, we'll be taking a look at another motherboard for the upcoming desktop Llano APUs – ASRock's A75 Pro4.

Here's how A75 stacks up to the blue team's H67. A cheaper option, the A55, is also available but without SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0.

  AMD A55 AMD A75 Intel H67
SATA 6Gbps 0 6 2
SATA 3Gbps 6 0 4
RAID 0,1,10 0,1,10 0,1,5,10
PCIe 2.0 4 4 8
USB 3.0 0 4 0
USB 2.0 14 10 14
USB 1.1 2 2 0
PCI 3 3 0

The launch motherboards for Llano are naturally going to be A75-based. One of these is the ASRock A75 Pro4.

Note: This is a review sample and the accessories shown here are not indicative of the actual retail package.

The ASRock A75 Pro4 is a full-size ATX motherboard, but Llano's strengths will be amplified when it comes to small form factors. So far only ASUS has displayed mini-ITX A75 motherboards, but it's safe to assume that more will be forthcoming.

ASRock has placed all four USB 3.0 ports on the rear I/O panel. We'd prefer to see two ports on a header as more and more casings are supporting USB 3.0. ASRock also placed the DVI and VGA outputs much too close to the USB ports – a simple swap with the HDMI port would have fixed this. There's also a clear CMOS button.

Somehow managing to escape the cost-cutting is FireWire – you'll find one port at the rear and one onboard header.

Llano can split its PCIe lanes in a x8/x8 configuration, but most A75 motherboards will use a fixed x16/x4 configuration to keep costs down, as on the ASRock A75 Pro4. Besides, we'd hardly expect anyone to use regular CrossFire with Llano. Instead AMD is doing its best to push Llano's Dual Graphics (a.k.a. CrossFireX, Hybrid CrossFire) capability.

The A75 Pro4 uses a 4 (CPU) + 1 (FCH) phase power delivery system, managed by a STMicroelectronics L6717 PWM controller.

ASRock is extremely generous with the fan headers on the A75 Pro4. There are a total of five, but ASRock could do a better job of spreading them around as four of them are clustered the CPU socket.

That rounds up our preview of the ASRock A75 Pro4. Stay tuned for our reviews of AMD's desktop A-series APUs and A75 motherboards!



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