While Socket FM1 motherboards faces extinction after a short run with last year's Llano, the latest Socket FM2 for Trinity APUs is expected to have a considerably longer shelf life, or at least through next year's Steamroller based Kaveri APUs. This time, MSI has come up with an feature-filled AMD motherboard that caught our eye.
The MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 is an standard ATX sized motherboard for AMD's upcoming Trinity APUs. Splashed with MSI's signature blue theme and attractive looking heatsinks, the board has all the ingredients to be a top offering challenging even those on the Intel side. As usual, the board is loaded with "Military Class III" components for prolonged stable power delivery and longevity, although it is also a fact that most Taiwanese OEMs have already been using solid-state capacitors and high quality chokes for quite some time.
Accessories wise, we get a few SATA cables, multi-meter probe wires, I/O shield and all sorts of gratuitous certificates and safety information together with the manual.
The new A85 FCH (Fusion Controller Hub aka Southbridge) also debuts with Trinity, offering two more SATA 6Gb/s ports than the previous A75 predecessor, which is still more generous than even Intel's Sandy Bridge-E HEDT C606 chipset. Like the previous Llano APU, Trinity has 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes for up to dual CrossfireX/SLI operation.