ASUS A88X-PRO AMD FM2+ Motherboard Review

Jump To:


ASUS A88X-PRO FM2+ Motherboard

ASUS recently released their latest motherboard for the new AMD Kaveri FM2+ APU, the A88X-PRO.  Based on the A88X platform, the A88X-PRO is ASUS’s high end enthusiast motherboard that supports both the FM2 Trinity and Richland processors, as well as the new Kaveri.  The FM2+ motherboard adds support for eight SATA 6Gbps ports with RAID 5, PCI-Express 3.0, which requires the Kaveri processor.  While it is a high end motherboard, it maintains a friendly mid-level price of $123.99 shipped with a 3 year warranty.

A88X-PRO Overview

The A88X-PRO features a black motherboard with gold heatsinks and sockets.  Based on the standard ATX form factor it measures 12.0 x 9.6 inches.  Looks isn’t everything this board has to offer, 4 DDR3 slots, supporting up to 16GB of memory each (total of 64GB), on board Radeon graphics (dependent on APU), 3-way CrossFireX, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 internal header and much more.  Unfortunately, ASUS did not include the support of Virtu Universal MVP, which allows combining the graphics from the APU with a dedicated graphics card.

ASUS A88X-PRO 4-Way Optimization

ASUS adds features like Dual Intelligent Processors 4 with 4-way optimization, allowing easy changes to performance, efficiency, power and cooling options.  This is controllable by the AI Suite III software that is included with the A88X-PRO.  We will take a closer look at the AI Suite later.

ASUS A88X-PRO Updated UEFI

ASUS doesn’t stop with just value added software, they have also updated their UEFI BIOS to make it easier for novices to use.  In the Advanced mode, you can create shortcuts to commonly used functions, make notes on the functions, view a log of changes to the BIOS and even renaming the SATA ports; all to make it as user friendly as possible.

Before we go any further let’s take a look at what ASUS has to say about the A88X-PRO; then we will take a closer look.

Features and Specifications:

  • Dual Intelligent Processors 4 with 4-Way Optimization
  • 4-Way Optimization – One Click and Done! Top-up Performance, Efficiency, Digital Power, and System Cooling
  • GPU Boost – Unlock integrated graphics performance for up to 30% boost
  • 5X PROTECTION – All-round protection provides the best quality, reliability, and durability
  • New UEFI BIOS – Full-scale Performance Tuning with Intuitive BIOS Interface
ASUS A88X-PRO AMD FM2+ Motherboard Specifications  
CPU AMD Socket FM2+ Athlon/A- Series Processors
Supports CPU up to 4 cores
Supports AMD Turbo Core 3.0 Technology
Chipset AMD A88X (Bolton D4) 
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 2400(O.C.)/2250(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133/1866/1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory 
Dual Channel Memory Architecture 
Support AMD Memory Profile (AMP) memory
* The Max. 64GB memory capacity can be supported with DIMMs of 16GB (or above). ASUS will update QVL once the DIMMs are available on the market.
* Hyper DIMM support is subject to the physical characteristics of individual CPUs. 
* Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
* Due to OS limitation, when installing total memory of 4GB capacity or more, Windows 32-bit operation system may only recognize less than 3GB. Install a 64-bit Windows® OS when you want to install 4GB or more memory on the motherboard.
Graphic Integrated AMD Radeon HD 7000/8000 Series Graphics in A-series APU 
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DVI/RGB/DisplayPort ports 
– Supports HDMI with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 24 Hz / 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz*1
– Supports DVI with max. resolution 2560 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
– Supports RGB with max. resolution 1920 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
– Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz 
Maximum shared memory of 2048 MB
AMD® Dual Graphics technology support *2
Multi-GPU Support Supports AMD 3-Way CrossFireX Technology
Expansion Slots 2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8) *3
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode) 
2 x PCIe 2.0 x1 
2 x PCI  
Storage AMD A88X FCH(Bolton D4) chipset:
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), yellow
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD
LAN Realtek® 8111GR, 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller(s)
Audio  Realtek® ALC1150 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
USB Ports  AMD A88X FCH(Bolton D4) chipset :
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
AMD A88X FCH(Bolton D4) chipset :
10 x USB 2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, black, 8 at mid-board)
ASMedia ASM1042 controller :
2 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue)
Special Features  ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 4 with 4-Way Optimization :
- The tuning key perfectly consolidates ASUS-exclusive DIGI+ Power Control, TPU, EPU, and Fan Xpert 2 optimize the digital power setting, system performance, power saving and whole system cooling configuration
ASUS 5X Protection :
- ASUS DIGI+ VRM – 6 + 2 Phase digital power design
- ASUS Enhanced DRAM Overcurrent Protection – Short circuit damage prevention 
- ASUS ESD Guards – Enhanced ESD protection 
- ASUS High-Quality 5K-Hour Solid Capacitors – 2.5x long lifespan with excellent durability 
- ASUS Stainless Steel Back I/O – 3x more durable corrosion-resistant coating 
ASUS EPU :
- EPU switch
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- GPU Boost
- Remote GO!
- USB BIOS Flashback
- MemOK!
- AI Suite 3
- Ai Charger+
- USB Charger+ *4
- Anti-Surge
- Low EMI Solution
- ESD Guards
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface 
- Network iControl
- USB 3.0 Boost
- Disk Unlocker
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
- Stylish Fanless Design Heat-pipe solution
- ASUS Fan Xpert 2
ASUS EZ DIY :
- DirectKey
- Precision Tweaker 2
- ASUS O.C. Tuner
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3 
- ASUS EZ Flash 2 
- ASUS MyLogo 2 
- ASUS USB BIOS Flashback 
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode
- Multi-language BIOS
ASUS Q-Design :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS Q-Code
- ASUS Q-Slot
- ASUS Q-Connector
Operating System Support Windows 8 , 32bit/64bit
Windows 7 , 32bit/64bit
Windows XP , 32bit
Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x DVI
1 x D-Sub
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
2 x eSATA 6Gb/s
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
4 x USB 3.0 
2 x USB 2.0 
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
Internal I/O Ports 1 x USB 3.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.0 port(s) (19-pin)
4 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 8 USB 2.0 port(s)
1 x COM port(s) connector(s)
6 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
4 x Chassis Fan connector(s) (4 -pin)
1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
1 x System panel(s) (Q-Connector)
1 x DirectKey Button(s)
1 x DRCT header(s)
1 x MemOK! button(s)
1 x TPU switch(es)
1 x EPU switch(es)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
1 x USB BIOS Flashback button(s)
Accessories  User’s manual
ASUS Q-Shield
4 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
1 x Q-connector(s) (2 in 1) 
BIOS  64 Mb Flash ROM, UEFI AMI BIOS, PnP, DMI2.0, WfM2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 2.0a, Multi-language BIOS, ASUS EZ Flash 2, ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3, F12 PrintScreen Function, F3 Shortcut Function and ASUS DRAM SPD (Serial Presence Detect) memory information
Support Disc Drivers, ASUS utilities, ASUS Update, Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Form Factor   
Note *1: *Only FM2+ APU can support up to 4096 x 2160 resolution display via HDMI port.
*2: Refer to HYPERLINK “http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/dual-graphics/Pages/dual-graphics.aspx”http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/dual-graphics/Pages/dual-graphics.aspx#3 for the discrete GPUs which support Dual Graphics technology.
*3: Only FM2+ Processors can support PCIe3.0.
*4 USB Charger+ is only supported in Windows7 and later versions.

Let’s take a closer look at what the ASUS A88X-PRO motherboard has to offer users of the AMD FM2+ APU’s.

Print
Jump To: