Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly providing hardware for our test bed:

Thank you to OCZ for providing us with 1250W Gold Power Supplies and SSDs.
Thank you to G.Skill and ADATA for providing us with memory kits.
Thank you to Corsair for providing us with an AX1200i PSU, Corsair H80i CLC and 16GB 2400C10 memory.
Thank you to ASUS for providing us with the AMD HD7970 GPUs and some IO Testing kit.
Thank you to MSI for providing us with the NVIDIA GTX 770 Lightning GPUs.
Thank you to Rosewill for providing us with the 500W Platinum Power Supply for mITX testing, BlackHawk Ultra, and 1600W Hercules PSU for extreme dual CPU + quad GPU testing, and RK-9100 keyboards.
Thank you to ASRock for providing us with the 802.11ac wireless router for testing.

Test Setup

Test Setup
Processor AMD A10-7850K (ES)
2 Modules, 4 Threads
Motherboards GIGABYTE G2A88X-UP4
Cooling Corsair H80i
Thermalright TRUE Copper
Power Supply OCZ 1250W Gold ZX Series
Corsair AX1200i Platinum PSU
Memory AMD Gaming 2x8GB DDR3-2133 10-11-11 Kit 
Memory Settings XMP
Video Cards MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2GB (1150/1202 Boost)
ASUS HD7970 3GB (Reference)
Video Drivers Catalyst 13.12
NVIDIA Drivers 332.21
Hard Drive OCZ Vertex 3 256GB
Optical Drive LG GH22NS50
Case Open Test Bed
Operating System Windows 7 64-bit SP1
USB 2/3 Testing OCZ Vertex 3 240GB with SATA->USB Adaptor
WiFi Testing D-Link DIR-865L 802.11ac Dual Band Router

Power Consumption

Power consumption was tested on the system as a whole with a wall meter connected to the OCZ 1250W power supply, while in a single MSI GTX 770 Lightning GPU configuration. This power supply is Gold rated, and as I am in the UK on a 230-240 V supply, leads to ~75% efficiency > 50W, and 90%+ efficiency at 250W, which is suitable for both idle and multi-GPU loading. This method of power reading allows us to compare the power management of the UEFI and the board to supply components with power under load, and includes typical PSU losses due to efficiency. These are the real world values that consumers may expect from a typical system (minus the monitor) using this motherboard.

While this method for power measurement may not be ideal, and you feel these numbers are not representative due to the high wattage power supply being used (we use the same PSU to remain consistent over a series of reviews, and the fact that some boards on our test bed get tested with three or four high powered GPUs), the important point to take away is the relationship between the numbers. These boards are all under the same conditions, and thus the differences between them should be easy to spot.

Power Consumption - Idle

Power Consumption - Long Idle

Power Consumption - OCCT

The use of IR355x ICs on the F2A88X-UP4 brings a good reduction in load power, 20W better than our other FM2+ motherboard.

Windows 7 POST Time

Different motherboards have different POST sequences before an operating system is initialized. A lot of this is dependent on the board itself, and POST boot time is determined by the controllers on board (and the sequence of how those extras are organized). As part of our testing, we are now going to look at the POST Boot Time - this is the time from pressing the ON button on the computer to when Windows 7 starts loading. (We discount Windows loading as it is highly variable given Windows specific features.)  These results are subject to human error, so please allow +/- 1 second in these results.

POST (Power-On Self-Test) Time - Single MSI GTX 770

In The Box, Overclocking System Benchmarks
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  • apertotes - Monday, March 24, 2014 - link

    The old EasyTune software may end up being a blessing in disguise. The newer Intel software has a nasty issue with global hotkeys and some non-English keyboard layouts. Those hotkeys can not be disabled or remapped and take control of some very usual key combinations like @,# or €.
  • DukeN - Monday, March 24, 2014 - link

    Good mining board - inexpensive combined with a cheap AMD proc, even has onboard power button wired in.
  • popej - Monday, March 24, 2014 - link

    Again dynamic range "From Graph"? Can't you believe, that numeric value and provided graph are only different presentation of the same result?
    Noise level drawn on the graph directly depends on FFT size, make FFT calculation with twice the size of data and it will drop by 3dB. RMAA probably draws graph normalized to 1Hz FFT bins, but it is only a convention, nothing there can suggest 102dB DNR.
  • StevoLincolnite - Monday, March 24, 2014 - link

    I'm really not all that interested in ATX sized FM2+ boards.

    However, where I think there is a gap that needs to be filled is actually in the AM3+ sector.
    SERIOUSLY Where are the ITX based AM3+ boards!?

    I have a Phenom 2 x6 and an FX 8120 laying around that would love to find their homes in a Mini-ITX system.
  • meacupla - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I think it's just not possible to load up an ITX board with that many voltage regulators.

    Asrock's first FM2 ITX board went up in flames, and an A10 is lower power than Phenom or FX.
  • bdub951 - Monday, March 24, 2014 - link

    ITX is where FM2+ shines. We really need a look at the various FM2+ ITX offerings. I've dealt with the GA-F2A88XN-WIFI and while the board itself is very nice, the BIOS and software really needs some work. Overclocking is a mixed bag on FM2+ due to the CPU throttling to 3Ghz under iGPU load. iGPU overclocking is the most important distinguishing factor between boards and the GA-F2A88XN-WIFI (possibly the rest from Gigabyte too) doesn't appear to allow the iGPU to clock beyond 960Mhz even though you can set it higher in BIOS.
  • DrMrLordX - Monday, March 24, 2014 - link

    The 3 ghz P5 state throttling under iGPU load can be defeated:

    . . . but it isn't an elegant solution. I think the UP4 has been reported to restrict iGPU overclocking to 960 mhz by some folks at, but my memory is fuzzy on that point.
  • bdub951 - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    I'm a little disappointed that Anandtech isn't able to look into issues like this. I think it's pretty important to know these things when determining what CPU and MB to go with. Why even bother with determining what CPU OC a board will support when the use of your iGPU just causes it to throttle to P5 making the OC useless. Given this appears to be a TDP limitation that is designed into Kaveri, wouldn't it make more sense to determine the iGPU OC??
    Now whether this TDP limitation affects the iGPU also remains to be seen but there are reports that the iGPU throttles to 450Mhz randomly causing stuttering when it's OC'd. I believe MSI afterburner shows this.
    Regardless, I think it's time for a little more disclosure from AMD as to whats happening. This is supposed to be an unlocked processor but it's clearly locked. Whether you lock via clocks, multiplier, or TDP is irrelevant, it's still locked.
  • DrMrLordX - Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - link

    Allegedly, MSI Afterburner can be used to defeat iGPU throttling, though at least one person I've talked to has voiced the opinion that the throttling behavior may be due to excessive polling by software such as . . . MSI Afterburner (and the person I am citing may step forward to elaborate, if he wishes).

    As far as the p5 state throttling, some boards are supposedly able to defeat that behavior by toggling a setting such as advanced power management (APM), but it is not 100% clear whether or not that is effective. Some boards do not offer this option in their UEFI.

    I agree that more disclosure and coverage of throttling issues on Kaveri would be nice. Published benchmarks are all potentially tainted by throttling behavior. I don't fault the reviewers really, Kaveri is just an odd chip. Power delivery seems to be a major concern on the FM2+ platform when hosting a Kaveri CPU.
  • rozquilla - Monday, March 24, 2014 - link

    The link to the AMD A10-7850K (ES) processor actually links to the Intel Core i7-4960X.

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