GA A55M S2H First pictures of Gigabytes A55M motherboards

In all fairness, this is hardly the most exciting news story, as AMD's A55 chipset is unlikely to put anyone's world on fire, but we've managed to score a picture of Gigabyte's upcoming GA-A55M-S2H and GA-A55M-S2V motherboards. We're talking about AMD's budget chipset for socket FM1 and considering that there's only two APUs to choose from so far, we can't really see a lot of demand for a budget board to go with them.

In all fairness, this is hardly the most exciting news story, as AMD's A55 chipset is unlikely to put anyone's world on fire, but we've managed to score a picture of Gigabyte's upcoming GA-A55M-S2H and GA-A55M-S2V motherboards. We're talking about AMD's budget chipset for socket FM1 and considering that there's only two APUs to choose from so far, we can't really see a lot of demand for a budget board to go with them.

It's worth remembering that the A55 chipset lacks the integrated USB 3.0 host controller, a feature that makes this chipset fairly unattractive in our eyes.  The A55M-S2H is otherwise fairly similar to Gigabyte's A75M-D2H, with a very similar board design. The major differences from what we can tell beyond lack of front and rear USB 3.0 ports seems to be a slightly simpler PWM design, lack of dual-link DVI support and of course no SATA 6Gbps ports.

GA A55M S2H First pictures of Gigabytes A55M motherboards

That said, you still get support for AMD dual graphics (if you can figure out which graphics card to use), RAID support, HDMI  and DVI ports, a x16 and a x4 PCI Express slot and just about everything else you'd need in terms of connectivity, including six rear USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet and even optical S/PDIF out. It's by no means a terrible budget board, but the question is if it'll be good enough to convince consumers to go for it over an A75 board.

The A55M-S2V is somewhat similar to the A75M-S2V, but not nearly as much as the previous board resembles its sibling. This time around Gigabyte has cut one power phase and got rid of the x4 PCI Express slot. The rear I/O remains mostly the same, minus the USB 3.0 ports, so here we have a DVI and D-sub connector, six USB 2.0 ports and Gigabit Ethernet. Overall this is fairly uninspiring board, but not something we'd outright call bad, just very feature light.

 First pictures of Gigabytes A55M motherboards

As luck has it, we also managed to dig up some pricing for the A55M-S2H, in New Zealand of all places. The online retailer we found had the board listed for NZ$126.50 excluding GST (sales tax) which is about S$128.60. As a comparison, the same retailer lists the A75M-D2H for NZ$155.10 (S$157.60) making the price difference a mere NZ$28.6 (S$29.10). We can't see too many people opting for the cheaper alternative here, especially as New Zealand is one of the most expensive places to get computer components, so the difference is likely to be even smaller elsewhere.

This is of course no fault of Gigabyte's, but rather an issue from AMD's side as obviously the pricing between the two chipsets are too similar. On the other hand, this is good news for consumers, as it means that we're actually getting more features for our money without having to worry about the more affordable platform, as the price difference is so small that to most of us it wouldn't make a huge difference, especially on something like a computer which most people keep for quite some time.