Having used an ITX rig for the most part of the last 4 months, I’ve come to appreciate the form factor in terms of the portability it offers. Despite this, I find myself still looking for the enthusiast features I need to handle most of the gaming and multimedia tasks I do. As with my current setup, I am using a GIGABYTE GA-Z77N-WIFI with an Ivy Bridge i7-3770K. Despite the lack of voltage control, the board manages to do 4.3Ghz at default voltage. This really gave me a lacking feeling and I’d expected the F2A85XN-WIFI to also have a disabled voltage control but I’m gladly proven wrong. The GIGABYTE GA-F2A85XN-WIFI has a full-featured BIOS capable of sending our Richland APU to 5Ghz gaming and benchmark stable.
In closing let’s breakdown the score for out motherboard:
Performance.Â There hasn’t been much FM2 boards in our bench much less ITX ones but after going through some of the high-end ones we’ve come to see what features we expect from these top-of-the-line boards. In the case of the GIGABYTE F2A85XN-WIFI, the ITX form factor doesn’t limit the capacity of the board to squeeze out the potential of your APUs. Its flexibility to accommodate high-spec components and a full GPU makes it a good option for a gaming HTPC.
Build Quality.Â GIGABYTE once again impresses with their construction quality. The Ultra Durable branding is notably prominent and the board really feels solid and premium. The decision to revise the antenna into a unified design is a great choice and we feel this improves placement options for the build.
Functionality.Â As APUs are designed to deliver a visual experience by themselves, this motherboard definitely has more potential for slimmer applications like SFF cases and such. Despite that, users can also use full-sized graphics cards for more gaming power.
Bundle.Â Nothing spectacular with the package but just the essentials.
Value.Â Here is where it all comes down to. Anyone whose building an APU-powered ITX rig and is going the Richland route is clearly looking for some decent power. In the case of the GA-F2A85XN-WIFI, the board is priced aroundÂ â‚±5,450 in local retail while the A10-6800K is aroundÂ â‚±7,100. Every ITX builder knows that this form factor has a bit of premium despite that though the size is usually worth it depending on how the build goes, and that’s very subjective. Locally, the GA-F2A85XN lacks any real competition in the A85 ITX field, making its distinction as the sole ITX FM2 platform fit for enthusiasts and power users but its pricing is too close to full-sized ATX boards that adopters might easily be suade to just go the mATX route if they haven’t bought a case yet.
In closing, the GIGABYTE GA-F2A85XN-WIFI ITX motherboard is one of the top FM2 platforms for the ITX form factor. GIGABYTE has loaded it with all the chipset’s features plus the company’s trademark components and gives very flexible overclocking options as well as accommodating modern high-specced components. For now the board is a bit held back by the APUs but FM2+ is now amongst us as well as the A88X chipset which leads us to believe that the next series of APUs are nearing release. Given AMD’s tradition of backwards-compatibility amongst its products, this makes it an especially exciting time for fans of APUs.