Event Coverage

A Gallery of AMD FM2 Socket Based Motherboards Seen at Computex 2012

By Wong Chung Wee - 11 Jun 2012

MSI Hybrid Digital Power for Trinity APU

The Boards Are Here But Where's Trinity?

According to sources, the expected release date of AMD's desktop Trinity APU is expected to be in early Q4 this year, tentatively around October. That means the desktop Trinity APUs are being delayed (again) from the initial Q3 expectations. Their current impediment seems to stem from inadequate volume to sustain demand. In our assessment, AMD seems to be putting their notebook efforts in priority and we don't blame them since it's a crucial market for Trinity to succeed. We just hope that by the time Trinity APUs are out for the desktop, they don't get sidelined like the desktop Llano parts.

Meanwhile we saw countless FM2-socket based motherboards that are ready to roll out and is only missing the AMD Trinity APU before manufacturers can send them to retail. Do remember that the new FM2 socket isn't backward compatible with existing FM1-socket friendly processors (existing AMD Llano APUs use FM1). This further aggravates the board makers because they can't flush out the old FM1 boards in favor of FM2 until unless the desktop Trinity APUs are available - despite the fact that both processors are compatible with existing A75 chipset.

For the FM2 socket based boards, in addition to the A75, there will also be the A85X and the A55 series of AMD chipsets. Primarily, the A85X will have Cross Fire support and has more USB 3.0 ports supported than A75 (six  vs. four), amongst a few other minor updates. The A55 will however not have SATA 6Gbps, USB 3.0, nor CrossFire support. Essentially, a more entry-level version of the A75, it will only support SATA 3Gbps and USB 2.0 ports. Other than these, there are no other major changes coming for the desktop Trinity APU platform that we already know about from the APU's own capabilities.

While we await for desktop Trinity APUs to be available in the later part of the year, we present you some of the boards you can expect to see from major vendors.


MSI Hybrid Digital Power Featured on its FM2 Boards

Based on MSI’s Hybrid Digital Power design, its four FM2 socket-based motherboards come in different form factors to meet various needs of rig builders. All the boards also feature the Military Class III components for durability.

MSI's Hybrid Digital Power design allows voltage options to be adjusted with more precision to provide more stable power in order to achieve better power efficiency as well as higher overclocking performance.


This is the largest of the FM2 boards based on the AMD 85X chipset at MSI's booth. Most other boards are microATX in nature, but this is using a standard ATX form factor for better expandability.

The MSI A85XA-G65 is obviously targeted at overclockers due to the presence of large VRM heatsinks in the vicinity of the FM2 socket.

There is no shortage of video connectors here but there are only two USB 3.0 ports here.


This mini-ITX board is touted to be the new standard for HTPCs. It sports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi adapters for seamless connectivity for sharing media files on the home network.

Unlike its naming scheme suggests, the MSI A85IA-E53 features the older AMD A75 chipset. Although it's only a mini-ITX board, it still boasts of respectable Military III Class components.



For the consumer who needs more expansion slots when building a home theater system, the MSI A85MA-E35 board is just the answer.

 This board features more expansion slots than the MSI A85IA-E53 as it has more PCB real estate. It does not have any onboard wireless connectivity solution as well.


MSI A55M-P33 (F2)

This AMD A55 chipset board is featured as an upgrade option for customers who need to get a secondary PC up and running. With some spare memory modules and an extra HDD, the board with an FM2 AMD processor installed can be set up quickly without exceeding one's budget. Do note that there is no support for USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps on the AMD A55 chipset.

The board has two DIMM slots that can be installed with memory modules that are rated for speeds up to DDR3-1866MHz and a maximum capacity of 16GB.

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