ASUS A88X-PRO

Micro Mart - - Contetnts -

The Asus A88X-PRO is a cou­ple of years old now, but has proved it­self to be one of the bet­ter AMD Kaveri FM2+ socket motherboards avail­able. The rea­son why is quite sim­ple: it’s a per­for­mance and en­thu­si­ast’s mother­board, sup­port­ing Trin­ity, Rich­land and Kaveri pro­ces­sors, while cost­ing just £115.

On the board you’ll find eight SATA 6Gbps ports, four DDR3 DIMMs, two PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, a sin­gle PCIe 2.0 x16 slot, two PCIe 2.0 x1 slots and a pair of legacy PCI slots. Ob­vi­ously the lat­ter can take a wealth of multi-GPU con­fig­u­ra­tions and there’s even AMD Dual Graph­ics Tech­nol­ogy for those with the right APU in place.

The rear I/O isn’t lack­ing ei­ther, with a sin­gle PS/2 key­board and mouse port, DVI, VGA, Dis­playPort, HDMI, two eSATA ports, four USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net, op­ti­cal S/PDIF out and a five-port au­dio block. Need­less to say, enough to ac­com­mo­date most users.

The A88X-PRO is nat­u­rally an ATX form fac­tor mother­board, so there’s am­ple room for all the com­po­nents to fit to­gether with­out fear of one touch­ing the other, in­clud­ing plenty of room for larger CPU cool­ers. It’s good to see that there’s also plenty of room be­tween the PCIe lanes for mul­ti­ple graph­ics cards, although if you load the mother­board out with a three­way GPU setup and a legacy PCI card, you may find things be­com­ing a lit­tle tight be­tween PCIe slots five and seven.

In­ter­est­ingly Asus has done a good job of de­sign­ing the A88X, with re­gards to the multi-GPU setup. For ex­am­ple, the south­bridge heatsink is low pro­file, al­low­ing graph­ics cards to slot into place with clear­ance. There’s also a gold/ yel­low com­po­nent and black/ brown PCB style in place, which can look a lit­tle gaudy for some.

Since this is a per­for­mance mother­board, there’s plenty of over­clock­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able, ei­ther via the BIOS or the Asus AI soft­ware suite. You can clock the APU as well as the CPU side of things, and with Asus 5X pro­tec­tion you’re cov­ered in case any­thing should go wrong dur­ing the process. In­ci­den­tally, the UEFI BIOS has been dras­ti­cally im­proved com­pared to the last­gen­er­a­tion Asus motherboards. Even with it be­ing a cou­ple of years old, it’s still a quick, easy and in­tu­itive BIOS, which makes the process of over­clock­ing, even to a small de­gree, some­thing a novice could hap­pily han­dle. We es­pe­cially liked the fact that you can write notes in the BIOS re­mind­ing your­self of any changes you’ve added in the past.

All in all, the Asus A88X-PRO is a good AMD mother­board. It’s rea­son­ably priced, cov­ers vir­tu­ally ev­ery con­nec­tion (mi­nus the more mod­ern M.2 ports etc.) and scores points with en­thu­si­asts and per­for­mance sys­tem builders. It’s well de­signed and works like a charm.

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