ASUS F1A75-M Pro Socket FM1 APU Motherboard

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Motherboard Layout

A few weeks back Legit Reviews was able to take a look at the new AMD Llano 'Sabine' mobile platform, without a doubt in our minds we were able to give it our "Editors Choice" award for the impressive performance we saw from the system. Today we have the opportunity to look at the desktop version of Llano code named "Lynx". The architecture between the mobile and desktop versions is virtually identical. For our delve into the AMD "Lynx" platform our board of choice is the ASUS F1A75-M Pro motherboard. This particular motherboard became available earlier in the day prior to the official embargo lift and is retailing for $119.99 plus shipping. While it may be a low cost board, it is by no means lacking in features.

The ASUS F1A75-M Pro features DIGI+ VRM with dual intelligent processors. The first of the two is the TPU, also known as the TurboV Processing unit. The TPU will automatically adjust your systems performance with a simple switch onboard the F1A75-M Pro or it can be accomplished through the use of ASUS AI Suite II software. The second of the intelligent processors is the EPU. Like the TPU the EPU can be accessed on the motherboard by flipping a switch, or through AI Suite II as well. The EPU will moderate the power consumption and

The ASUS F1A75-M Pro offers the latest technologies available. The AMD A75 FCH supports the latest SATA III 6Gbps interface as well as Super Speed USB 3.0. Super Speed USB 3.0 offers up to 5Gbps transfer rates and is up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0! The ASUS F1A75-M Pro combined with the AMD A8-3850 APU offers DirectX 11 capabilities via the AMD Radeon HD 6550D integrated in to the APU itself.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro AMD APU Motherboard CPUz

The AMD A8-3850 we will be using in conjunction with the ASUS F1A75-M Pro uses a base frequency of 100MHz and a 29x multiplier to achieve the 2900MHz core clock. All of the A Series APUs have locked multipliers which means that any overclocking will have to be done through the base clock.

AMD A8-3850 APU GPUz

The AMD A8-3850 has a discrete level graphics engine built right in to it. The AMD Radeon HD 6550D. The Radeon HD 6550D has 400 Radeon 'STARS' cores, 5 SIMDs, 20 Texture Units, and a GPU Core Clock Speed of 600MHz. the total GPU Peak Compute power is 480 GFLOPS.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Features and Specifications

CPU AMD Socket FM1 A- Series/E2- Series Accelerated Processors
Supports CPU up to 4 cores
Supports AMD Turbo Core 2.0 Technology
Chipset AMD A75 FCH (Hudson D3)
Memory 4 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 1866/1600/1333/1066 Hz Non-ECC, Un-buffered
Memory Dual Channel Memory Architecture
Graphic Integrated AMD Radeon HD 6000 Series Graphics in Llano APU
Multi-VGA output support : HDMI/DVI/RGB ports
- Supports HDMI with max. resolution 1920 x 1080 @ 60 Hz
- Supports DVI with max. resolution 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
- Supports RGB with max. resolution 1920 x 1600 @ 60 Hz
Dual independent displays support with HDMI/DVI and D-Sub
AMD Dual Graphics technology support
Supports DirectX 11
Multi-GPU Support Supports AMD CrossFireX Technology
Expansion Slots 1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (blue)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x16 (x4 mode, black)
1 x PCIe 2.0 x1
1 x PCI
Storage AMD A75 FCH (Hudson D3) chipset :
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
Support Raid 0, 1, 10, JBOD
LAN Realtek 8111E , 1 x Gigabit LAN Controller
Audio Realtek ALC 892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
USB Ports AMD A75 FCH (Hudson D3) chipset :
4 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue, 2 at mid-board)
AMD A75 FCH (Hudson D3) chipset :
10 x USB 2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, black, 8 at mid-board)
ASMedia® USB 3.0 controller : 2 x USB 3.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, blue)
Overclocking Features Overclocking Protection :
- ASUS C.P.R.(CPU Parameter Recall)
Special Features ASUS Dual Intelligent Processors 2 with DIGI+ VRM :
ASUS TPU :
- Auto Tuning
- TurboV
- TPU switch
ASUS EPU :
- EPU
- EPU switch
ASUS Digital Power Design :
- Industry leading Digital 4 +2 Phase Power Design
ASUS Exclusive Features :
- MemOK!
- AI Suite II
- Ai Charger+
- Anti-Surge
- ASUS UEFI BIOS EZ Mode featuring friendly graphics user interface
ASUS Quiet Thermal Solution :
- Stylish Fanless Design Heat-sink solution
- ASUS Fan Xpert ASUS EZ DIY :
- ASUS Q-Shield
- ASUS O.C. Profile
- ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
- ASUS EZ Flash 2
- ASUS MyLogo 2
- Multi-language BIOS 100% All High-quality Conductive Polymer Capacitors
Back I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo port(s)
1 x DVI-D
1 x D-Sub
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port
4 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
6 x Audio jack(s)
Internal I/O Ports 1 x USB 3.0 connector support additional 2 USB 3.0 port
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)
2 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x Power Fan connector(s)
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)
Accessories User's manual
ASUS Q-Shield
2 x SATA 6Gb/s cable(s)
BIOS Support Disc
Support Disc Drivers
ASUS PC Probe II
ASUS Update
Anti-virus software (OEM version)
Form Factor uATX Form Factor 9.6 inch x 9.6 inch ( 24.4 cm x 24.4 cm )

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Retail Packaging and Bundle

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard Retail Packaging and Bundle

The front of the retail packaging for the ASUS F1A75-M Pro displays the name of the product as well as some of the technologies behind it. A couple of the key points displayed on the front of the box are the ASUS DIGI+ VRM, TPU, Super Speed USB 3.0, and that it is an AMD A8 Vision motherboard.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard Retail Packaging and Bundle

The back of the retail packaging for the ASUS F1A75-M Pro goes into detail on the key points from the front of the packaging. Along the left side is a bullet point of the features as well as a diagram of the ASUS F1A75-M Pro motherboard.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard Retail Packaging and Bundle

Opening up the ASUS F1A75-M Pro motherboard packaging we can see that it is well protected within the packaging.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard Retail Packaging and Bundle

The bundle that accompanies the ASUS F1A75-M Pro motherboard seems a little on the light side, but it does include everything you will need to set it up. We have the manual, driver disc, I/O shield, as a pair of SATA cables.

Now that we have taken a look at the retail packaging and bundle for the ASUS F1A75-M Pro, we can pull the board out of the anti-static bag and take an in-depth look at the F1A75-M Pro APU motherboard. 

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Motherboard Layout

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Motherboard Layout

The ASUS F1A75-M Pro features the blue and black color scheme that we have seen on the recent ASUS motherboards, except of course for a few of the segment boards. The F1A75-M Pro Packs a lot of features into the smail micro ATX form factor, so let's scroll down and take a look!

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Motherboard Layout

The new AMD FM1 socket and AMD APU's will support memory up to 1866MHz. The ASUS F1A75-M Pro takes full advantage of this and will support up to 64Gb of memory in a dual channel configuration. Along the edge of the ASUS F1A75-M Pro we have a couple of switches for the E.P.U. and the T.P.U., with the MemOK! button to the left. Along the right side of the F1A75-M Pro we can see the four pin CPU fan header.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Motherboard Layout

To the left of the 24 pin motherboard power plug is an additional four pin fan header followed by six SATA III 6Gbps ports. Working our way up the left edge of the ASUS F1A75-M Pro we have the pin out for the front panel L.E.D.'s and switches. Just past that is solder points the TPM would be, though the ASUS F1A75-M Pro isn't equipped with it. After the location for the TPM is the clear CMOS jumper, Super Speed USB 3.0 header and an additional four USB 2.0 headers.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Motherboard Layout

Swinging the ASUS F1A75-M Pro around once again, we can see the COM port header as well as the front panel audio header. Working our way around the corner and up the edge we can catch a peek at the Realtek ALC892 Hi-Def audio Codec right in the corner with the ITE IT8728F super I/O controller, as well as the Realtek RTL8111E Gigabit Ethernet controller just beyond. The ASUS F1A75-M Pro supports dual AMD Graphics cards in CrossfireX with a pair of PCIe X16 slots. The F1A75-M Pro also has a single PCIe X1 slot and an old school PCI slot. 

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Motherboard Layout

The ASUS F1A75-M Pro has a total of six USB ports, two of which are Super Speed USB 3.0 while the remaining four are USB 2.0. We also have a DVI, DSub, and HDMI for video outputs. For audio out we have an optical SPDIF and six 3.5mm audio jacks, and last but not least is the RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet controlled by the Realtek RTL8111E.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Motherboard Layout

The retention bracket for the FM1 socket is the same as what is on the new AMD 990FX motherboards as well as what we have seen in previous sockets from AMD. This is great news if you are upgrading from and earlier platform and don't want to part with your custom cooler.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro UEFI BIOS

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

The ASUS F1A75-M Pro motherboard uses the UEFI BIOS that we have come to love from ASUS. The main page of the UEFI BIOS is the ASUS EZ Mode. Here we can check the system temps, voltages, and fan speeds. The ASUS EZ Mode also allows us to change the boot priority between the different devices connected to the system.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

Once we switch in to the Advanced mode we are first brought to the Main page. Here we can change the language, date, time, and security settings.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

The AI Tweaker with in the ASUS F1A75-M Pro is where we can set all of the settings for the CPU and RAM. Including frequencies and voltages.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

We can also set the DIGI+ VRM settings within the AI Tweaker.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

The Advanced tab of the ASUS F1A75-M Pro will grant us access to the CPU Configuration, SATA Configuration, USB Configuration, North Bridge Configuration, Onboard Devices, and APM.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

The CPU Configuration sub-page will let us change various CPU settings like the C6 states, and AMD Powernow function.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

The SATA Configuration sub-page will let us change switch between IDE, AHCI, and RAID mode.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

The USB Configuration sub-page allowsus to change the various USB Settings for both USB 2.0 and the Super Speed USB 3.0.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

The NB Configuration is where we will find the graphic settings for the AMD A8-3850 APU.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

The Onboard Device configuration lets us disable the various onboard devices like the Realtek RTL8111E Gigabit Ethernet controller, and onboard audio.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

The hardware monitor page within the ASUS F1A75-M Pro UEFI BIOS is quite possibly one of the most important pages, at least to me. If you have ever failed to mount a CPU cooler properly or forgotten to plug in the CPU fan (guilty), you know how important it is to check temperatures before you start the build. On the monitor page we can check the temperatures of the CPU, and motherboard. We can check fan speeds of the four fans, as well as checking the voltages of the CPU, 3.3V, 5V, and 12 Volt rails as detected by the ASUS F1A75-M Pro.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

The Boot page has all of the settings for the system boot process.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

The Tools Page has the ASUS EZ Flash 2 Utility, ASUS OC Profile, as well as the ASUS SPD Information.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU Motherboard UEFI BIOS

Last but by no means least is the Exit options.

The Legit Reviews Test System

All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit with all the latest updates installed. All benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. The Corsair Vengeance memory modules were run in Dual-channel mode at 1600MHz with 9-9-9-24-2t timings. The XFX Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards were run with 11.6B CATALYST suite drivers. The AMD A8-3850 was running at the default clock. The F1A75-M Pro was running the latest BIOS.

AMD A75 APU Test System

 Processor  AMD A8-3850 APU
 Live Pricing
 Motherboard  ASUS F1A75-M Pro Socket FM1
 
 Memory  8gb Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9  Live Pricing
 Hard Drive  Kingston SSDNow 96GB SSD  Live Pricing
 Video Card  XFX Radeon HD 6950  Live Pricing
 CPU cooler  Corsair A70  Live Pricing
 Chassis  None - Open Bench  
 Power Supply  Corsair TX750   Live Pricing

Intel Z68 Test System

 Processor  Intel Core i5 2500K  Live Pricing
 Motherboard  ASUS P8Z68-V Pro  
 Memory  8gb Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9  Live Pricing
 Hard Drive  Kingston SSDNow 96GB SSD  Live Pricing
 Video Card  XFX Radeon HD 6950  Live Pricing
 CPU cooler  Corsair A70  Live Pricing
 Chassis  None - Open Bench  
 Power Supply  Corsair TX750   Live Pricing

ASUS F1A75-M Pro AMD APU Motherboard Test Bench

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Motherboard System Settings

SiSoftware Sandra 2011 SP3 Memory Bandwidth

SiSoftware Sandra 2011c Memory Bandwidth

A year ago, SiSoftware released Sandra 2010 with full support for Windows 7; in the 18 months since the launch of Windows 7, more than ever before we have seen the line blur between PC and entertainment hubs. Two months ago we released a Blu-Ray benchmark, now we have added a brand-new Media Transcoding benchmark using the new Media Foundation of Windows 7. We have also added yet another benchmark (GPGPU Cryptography) which allows direct comparison of CPU performance (using crypto instruction sets) and GPGPU performance.

MSI 990FXA-GD80 SiSoftware Sandra 2011c Memory Bandwidth Results

Benchmark Results: The ASUS F1A75-M Pro didn't quite compete with the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro memory bandwidth. The ASUS P8Z68-V Pro was able to average 20+GB/s in both tests while the ASUS F1A75-M Pro averaged 14.655/14.782GB/s. One thing worth noting, although two different versions of Sandra 2011 the ASUS F1A75-M Pro was able to squeeze more memory performance out of the Corsair Vengeance kit than the ASUS Sabertooth 990FX was able to by nearly 2GB/s!

ASUS F1A75-M Pro IGP directx 9 Performance

ASUS F1A75-M Pro DirectX 9 Integrated Graphics Performance in Total War Shogun 2

The ASUS F1A75-M Pro had some extremely playable framerates in Total War: Shogun 2 at both resolutions that we tested. At 1280x1024 the A8-3850 APU was able to crank out 56.15 frames per second while the Intel Core i5 2500k was only 23.07 frames per second. The F1A75-M Pro and the A8-3850 out performed the 2500k by 143.4%! Cranking up the resolution to 1920x1080 the ASUS F1A75-M Pro was still playable with 37.98 frames per second while the Core i7 2500k system averaged just over 15 frames per second. That is a difference of 151% at 1920x1080!

ASUS F1A75-M Pro DirectX 9 Integrated Graphics Performance in Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum tells us a tale very similar to Total War: Shogun 2. At 1280x1024 the ASUS F1A75-M Pro with the AMD A8-3850 APU was able to average 51 frames per second while the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro and Intel Core i5 2500k averaged only 29 frames per second. At 1920x1080 the AMD APU system averaged 32 frames per second while the 2500k system averaged only 19 frames per second.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro IGP DirectX 11 Performance

ASUS F1A75-M Pro DirectX 11 Integrated Graphics Performance in Total War Shogun 2

Total War: Shogun 2 has the option for DirectX 11 graphics. We decided to give the integrated graphics on our systems a bit of a workout with DirectX 11. Unfortunately only one of our systems is DirectX 11 capable when using the Integrated Graphics. Obviously that is the AMD A8-3850 APU, so while the AMD APU system was busy cranking out DirectX 11 benchmarks, the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro and the Intel Core i5 2500k sat idly by. With the graphics quality set to low in Total War: Shogun 2 the ASUS F1A75-M Pro was able to crank out 92.85 frames per second at 1280x1024 and 65.23 frames per second at 1920x1080.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro DirectX 11 Integrated Graphics Performance in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat was able to maintain a playable framerate at both resolutions with the image quality turned down. At 1280x1024 the ASUS F1A75-M Pro was able to pull an average framerate of 40.2 frames per second and at 1920x1080 we saw an average of 30.7 frames per second in DirectX 11

ASUS F1A75-M Pro DirectX 11 Integrated Graphics Performance in Aliens Vs. Predator

In Aliens Vs. Predator the AMD A8-3850 and ASUS F1A75-M Pro did struggle a bit. At 1280x1024 we saw an average of 26.1 frames per second while at the resolution of 1920x1080 we saw only 18 frames per second.

3DMark 11 Entry Level Preset with AMD APU Graphics

The ASUS F1A75-M Pro was able to pull out an overall score of 1783 3DMarks in Futuremark 3DMark11 at the entry level preset. The GPU score in 3DMark 11 was 1645 3DMarks. Overall not a bad performance considering it is integrated graphics!

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Dedicated Card performance

ASUS F1A75-M Pro XFX Radeon HD 6950 DirectX 11 Performance in Total War Shogun 2

Taking a look at DirectX 11 gaming performance with a discrete graphics card we can see a little bit of difference between the platforms in Total War: Shogun 2. At 1280x1024 the 2500K filled ASUS P8Z68-V Pro had a slight edge over the ASUS F1A75-M Pro with 75.9 frames per second compared to 72.04 frames per second. At 1920x1080 the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro continued to lead but the margin diminished. We saw a difference of only .33 frames per second at the higher resolution.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro XFX Radeon HD 6950 DirectX 11 Performance in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat the ASUS F1A75-M Pro was able to average 94.2 frames per second at 1280x1024 while the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro average 13% higher with 106.4 frames per second. The margins at 1920x1080 were once again smaller than they were at 1280x1024. At 1920x1080 the ASUS F1A75-M Pro averaged 70.8 frames per second while the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro was 5.2% faster with an average of 74.5 frames per second.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro XFX Radeon HD 6950 DirectX 11 Performance in Aliens Vs. Predator

The ASUS P8Z68-V Pro lead in Aliens Vs. Predator by an ever so slight margin. At 1280x1024 there was only .5 frames per second difference between the two platforms. At 1920x1080 we saw a difference of only .3 frames per second with the ASUS F1A75-M Pro just behind.

Futuremark 3DMark11 Synthetic Gaming Benchmark with Discrete Graphics

3DMark 11 Screenshot

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the 3D graphics performance of gaming PCs. 3DMark 11 uses a native DirectX 11 engine designed to make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.

3DMark 11 Settings

Since Futuremark is releasing 3DMark11 today we decided to run the benchmark at both performance and extreme presets to see how our hardware will run.

ASUS ASUS F1A75-M Pro 3DMark11 Performance Preset Benchmark Results

3DMark 11 Performance Preset with Discrete Graphics

ASUS ASUS F1A75-M Pro 3DMark11 Extreme Preset Benchmark Results

3DMark 11 Extreme Preset with Discrete Graphics

Benchmark Results: In Futuremark 3DMark11 we are seeing some hefty differences at the Performance Preset. the overall performance of the ASUS F1A75-M Pro came in at 4330 3DMarks while the Intel Platform came in at 5003 3DMarks. The GPU scores were quite a bit closer though. The ASUS P8Z68-V Pro had a GPU score of 4698 while the ASUS F1A75-M Pro had a GPU score of 4551. That is only a 3.23% difference while the overall score showed a 15.54% difference. The Extreme Preset the scores were closer though the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro still had a slight edge with an overall score of 1609 while the ASUS F1A75-M Pro had an overall score of 1547.

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage Synthetic Benchmark

3dmark vantage

3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware. 3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

3dMark Vantage

ASUS F1A75-M Pro AMD APU 3DMark Vantage Entry Level Benchmark Results

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage Synthetic Entry Level Preset Benchmark with AMD Lynx Integrated Graphics

ASUS F1A75-M Pro AMD APU 3DMark Vantage Performance Benchmark Results

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage Synthetic Performance Preset Benchmark with AMD Lynx Integrated Graphics

Benchmark Results: The ASUS F1A75-M Pro pretty much ran the table in 3DMark Vantage. During the Entry Level Preset test the ASUS F1A75-M Pro had an overall score of 15689 3DMarks and a GPU score of 19479. The integrated graphics on the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro and Intel Core i5 2500k couldn't keep up with an overall score of 10106 and a GPU score of 8700. The overall score of the ASUS F1A75-M Pro was 55.2% higher than the Intel Combo and the GPU score was 123.9% higher! Cranking the preset level to Performance in 3DMark Vantage the ASUS F1A75-M Pro pulls further ahead of the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro/Intel Core i5 2500k. The overall score of the ASUS F1A75-M Pro was 4155 3DMarks compared to the Intel systems score of 1846 3DMarks. Thats a performance difference of 125%. The GPU scores were 3481 3DMarks for the APU system and 1418 3DMarks for the Intel system. That is a difference of 145.5%!

Rightmark Audio Analyzer

RightMark Audio Analyzer

The RightMark Audio Analyzer suite is designed for testing quality of analog and digital paths of any audio devices, be it a sound card, an MP3 player, a consumer CD/DVD player or an acoustic set. The results are obtained by playing and recording test signals passed through the tested audio path by means of frequency analysis algorithms. The latest version of RightMark Audio Analyzer can be found here.

RightMark Audio Analyzer Results

Rightmark Audio Analyzer Comparison Chart

MSI 990FXA-GD80 Audio Performance

There isn't any discernible difference between our two platforms today. Likely that is because they are from the same manufacturer, same audio codec and likely the same implementation of the IC. Though, what time I have had with them I haven't heard any issues with the audio quality.

Network Throughput Testing

NTttcp Tool

The Gigabit PCIe Ethernet controllers vary on each board, so it will be interesting to see what the performance is on all the boards. Each of the boards uses a different Gigabit Controller. Let's take a look at what controller is on each of the boards.

To test the Gigabit PCIe Ethernet controllers we used the NTttcp tool to test Ethernet Throughput and the CPU utilization of the various Ethernet controllers used on the AMD Motherboards. To do this properly we set up one machine as the server: in this test an Intel Core i7 970 system with an MSI Big Bang XPower motherboard acted as our Gigabit LAN server.

On the server side, we used the following Command Line for Gigabit PCIe Ethernet Testing:

Ntttcpr -m 4,0,<Client IP> -a 4 -l 256000 -n 30000

On the client side (the motherboard being tested), we used the following Command Line:

Ntttcps -m 4,0,<Server IP> -a 4 -l 256000 -n 30000

At the conclusion of each test we recorded the throughput and CPU utilization figures from the client screen as that is the system being tested.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Network Throughput

Benchmark Results: The ASUS F1A75-M Pro has a slight edge in total throughput, leading the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro with 945.612MB/s throughput versus the 938.668MB/s. The Intel 82579 Gigabit LAN Controller on the P8Z68-V Pro used significantly less CPU power.

SATA III 6Gbps Performance Testing

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device possible.

HD Tach

The SATA6 Testing was done using Crucial RealSSD C300 256Gb SATA6 SSD drive.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro HD Tach SATA3 Performance Results

Benchmark Results: The ASUS F1A75-M Pro averaged 278.9MB/s on the read and 195.9MB/s for the write tests. This is below what we saw with the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro.

HD Tune Pro 4.01 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

HD Tune

HD Tune

ASUS F1A75-M Pro HD Tune SATA3 Performance Results

Benchmark Results: The ASUS F1A75-M Pro was able to hit an average of 286.8MB/s read rate and 221.7MB/s average read rate. The Average read was ~20MB/s below the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro but the average write was just above the Intel system by 1.7MB/s.

SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Performance Testing

HD Tach is a low level hardware benchmark for random access read/write storage devices such as hard drives, removable drives (ZIP/JAZZ), flash devices, and RAID arrays. HD Tach uses custom device drivers and other low level Windows interfaces to bypass as many layers of software as possible and get as close to the physical performance of the device as possible.

HD Tach

Testing of the USB3 was done using the SUNBEAMTECH Airbox USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure. The drive used was a Crucial Technology RealSSD C300 SSD.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro USB3 HD Tach Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The ASUS F1A75-M Pro fell short of the performance of the ASUS P8Z68-V Pro. Though the ASUS F1A75-M Pro was able to pull out an Average Read of 106.9MB/s and an Average Write of 103.0MB/s.

HD Tune Pro 4.01 is an extended version of HD Tune which includes many new features such as write benchmark, secure erasing, AAM setting, folder usage view, disk monitor, command line parameters and file benchmark.

HD Tune

HD Tune

Our testing of the USB 3.0 performance was done using the SUNBEAMTECH Airbox USB3.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure. The drive used was a Crucial Technology RealSSD C300 SSD.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro USB3 HD Tune Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: In HD Tune the ASUS F1A75-M Pro was able to hit an Average Read rate of 101.4MB/s and an Average Write speed of 99.1MB/s. This isn't the best performance we have ever seen for Super Speed USB 3.0 performance, nor is it the worst by a long shot.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro System Power Consumption

CPU Power Consumption

Since power consumption is a big deal these days, we ran some simple power consumption tests on our test beds. The systems ran with identical power supplies, Solid-Sate Drives, Memory kits and motherboards from the same company. To measure idle usage, we ran the system at idle for one hour on the desktop with no screen saver and took the measurement. For load measurements, Prime95's in-place large FFT's were run on all cores to make sure each and every processor was at 100% load for maximum power consumption and heat. Curious about other test  scenarios, we decided to 3DMark Vantage the performance preset and took the maximum power consumption during the first GPU test. We also tested a video transcode using HandBrake 0.95 to see how the power draw on that was.

ASUS F1A75-M Pro System Power Consumption

Benchmark Results: The Intel Core i5-2500k Processor is a quad-core processor that has a maximum TDP of 95 Watts, while the AMD A8-3850 APU has a TDP of 100W. One would expect the two processors to use roughly the same amount of power, but we saw huge differences at an idle and measurable differences at load.

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

ASUS F1A75-M Pro Motherboard Layout

I'm gonna have to take a step back and look at the ASUS F1A75-M Pro from a little bit of a different angle than usual. Much of my background with computers is from an enthusiast point of view. I like to to go fast, score high on the benchmarks, and have an excessive number of frames per second. That's not exactly what the AMD Lynx platform is design for. The "Lynx" platform is aimed at the mainstream market and the casual gamer. Though it did do pretty darn well, but well touch on performance shortly.

Before we get to far into this, I would like to spend a few moments discussing the differences between the systems that we compared today. Most of the components used were identical between our two systems.

The above components won't effect the price comparison of the build. What is different is the CPU or APU, and the Motherboard. The key component that is going to effect the price in our particular case is the processor. The Intel Core i5 2500K is currently retailing for $219.99. The AMD A8-3850 is going to have an suggested retail price of only $135.00. Throw in the fact that the ASUS F1A75-M Pro is retailing for $119.99 plus shipping and you have a motherboard and CPU that doesn't cost much more than the Intel Core i5 2500k alone.

When we compared performance between the Intel Core i5 2500k system and the ASUS F1A75-M Pro APU system, there were a few areas that the ASUS F1A75-M Pro fell short on. To be fair though, as we pointed out above the Core i5 2500k system is a more expensive system to build. Where we saw the differences was when using the XFX Radeon HD 6950. When we tested with the discrete card we saw a little bit lower game performance, but nothing horribly significant. When it comes down to it the performance differences that we saw wouldn't effect day to day use.

Where the ASUS F1A75-M Pro truly excelled today was the performance of the integrated graphics. Every one of our graphics tests that we compared the Intel HD Graphics 3000 to the AMD A8-3850 with AMD Radeon HD 6550D there was a clear and decisive winner. For our recap of the graphics performance let's start with Total War: Shogun 2 in DirectX 9 mode. The ASUS F1A75-M Pro was able to pull out an average that was 143.4% (1280x1024)faster than the Intel system! Increasing the resolution to 1920x1080 we saw an even larger difference of 151%! We also tested Batman Arkham Asylum and saw differences of 76% at 1280x1024 and 68% at 1920x1080. That's a pretty significant difference considering the ASUS F1A75-M Pro costs significantly less! We're not done yet with the advantages of the F1A75-M Pro!

DirectX 11 is the latest and greatest version of DirectX and adds some eye-candy to today's games. Our combination of AMD A8-3850 and ASUS F1A75-M Pro is quite capable of DirectX 11 performance. If we were to compare our systems from today with DirextX 11 it would once again be the ASUS F1A75-M Pro coming out on top simply because the Intel HD Graphics 3000 inside the Intel Core i5 2500 doesn't support DirectX 11. While that makes it easy to declare the AMD APU system a winner, just supporting it isn't enough. If it doesn't perform it would be a waste of technology. Fortunately it does perform! In Futuremark 3DMark 11 the AMD Radeon HD 6550D was able to hit a solid score of E1783 3Dmarks! It isn't the worlds fastest 3DMark 11 score, though it gets the job done in style.

The ASUS F1A75-M Pro retails for only $119.99 plus shipping and the AMD A8-3850 is expected to retail for only $135.00. As with most motherboards from ASUS the F1A75-M Pro is backed by a three year warranty for that piece of mind in the event of a motherboard failure.

Legit Bottom Line: If you are a casual gamer looking to put a DirectX 11 capable system together on a budget or plan on running a discrete graphics card, the ASUS F1A75-M Pro has everything that we have come to love from ASUS! Performance, Price, and features make the ASUS F1A75-M Pro a motherboard that should be at the top of your short list!