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ASUS A88XM-A motherboard review and performance testing

The basis of ASUS A88XM-A motherboard is AMD A88X chipset. The key parameters of this chipset can be read here.  Due to compact microATX format and good equipping this model is suitable for building of desk-size home systems of entry and medium level with CPUs AMD Kaveri or AMD Trinity/Richland line. Another one advantage is quite moderate price of $70 USD.

Since the main advantages of chipset and supported CPUs you can find using the links below, we suggest to learn all advantages and disadvantages.


ASUS A88XM-A specification:




A88XM-A (rev 1.03)



CPU socket

Socket FM2+

CPU supported

AMD A / AMD Athlon

Memory frequency

2400* / 2133 / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 MHz


RAM support

4 x DDR3 DIMM- slots with support of memory up to 64 GB

Expansions slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 х PCI

Disk subsystem

AMD A88X chipset supports:

6 x SATA 6 GB/s



1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 MB/s)

Audio subsystem

Realtek ALC887 codec

2 / 4 / 5.1 / 7.1-channel sound


Power connectors

1 х 24-pin ATX main power connector

1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power ATX12V


1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 x system fan connector (4-pin)


Aluminum fan on the chipset

External I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

3 x audio ports

2 х PS/2 (for mouse and keyboard connection)

Internal I/O

1 x USB 3.0 each with support of 2 USB 3.0 (19-pin)

2 x USB 2.0, each with support of 2 USB 2.0

6 x SATA 6 GB/s

1 x COM socket

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x S/PDIF out

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS jumper



PnP, ACPI 4.0a, SM BIOS 2.6, DMI 2.0, WfM 2.0


User’s manual

Warranty description booklet

Driver disc

2 x SATA cables

1 х faceplate of interface panel

Form-factor, dimensions


236 х 208 mm

Producer website

Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available here со страницы поддержки

Packaging and content


The package of the product is standard, e.i. carton box with qualitative yellow and black color design. As usual a bigger part of front side is used for company name and model type. Also here is the compliance to concept  5X PROTECTION that includes:

  • Special safety devices for increased protection against over current and short circuit.
  • Protection against electrostatic discharges.
  • Japanese solid capacitors with increased service life (up to 5000 hours at 105°C).
  • Improved design of interface panel made of stainless steel coated with chromium oxide. It has high oxidation resistance which makes it three times more wear-resistant.
  • Digital PWM controllers for control of CPU power and memory modules that are used in accordance with the original concept of DIGI + VRM.


The reverse side traditionally has the diagrammatic representation of the motherboard, a brief list of its technical characteristics, as well as the key features and advantages of the products:

  • USB 3.0 Boost – the support of UASP protocol is used to speed up the operation of USB 3.0 interface.
  • Fan Xpert - intelligence fan control system used for effective cooling with minimal noise level.
  • AI Suite III – together with motherboard there is proprietary software used for fine-tuning of several parameters settings without entering the BIOS.
  • Network iControl - using the bundled software you can control network activity in real time and set each program priority to network resources access.

Also there is a support of AMD Eyefinity and AMD Dual Graphics technologies, as well as the presence of HDMI video output on the interface panel which has the ability to display images in a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels (4K Ultra HD).


In the box you’ll find the most necessary accessories. Scope of supply includes:

• driver disk;

• user's manual;

• two SATA-cables;

• faceplate of interface panel

Design and features    ASUS A88XM-A 

Model ASUS A88XM-A is pefrormed on microATX dark brown printed circuit board (236 x 208 mm). It has modern standard ASUS design and the usage of dark and yellow colors. The packaging of the elements is pretty good but there are some peculiarities. First of the leading-in socket of remote panel with USB 3.0 ports is not arranged as usual (right side). It is on the bottom side and this fact may cause the inconvenience. In the second place the fastening screws on right side are absent. So you need to be very careful to build your PC. Thirdly, the latches of PCI Express x16 socket and DIMM-slots are very close to each other and this can complicate the installation/ extract of RAM modules. But all these features are the result of compact size of the board and they are not critical.


On the reverse side of the product you will see the standard support plate of the CPU socket and plastic fastening clips of a single radiator which is responsible for chipset cooling.


At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in sockets, S/PDIF out, COM port, as well as front panel leading-in socket. Also here are: three USB leading-in sockets: two for USB 2.0 and one for USB 3.0. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is six: (four internal and two on the interface panel) as well as four USB 3.0 sockets (two internal and two external). All connectors function is provided by the chipset AMD A88X.


The possibility of disk subsystem organization is performed by six SATA 6 Gb/s ports. All of them operate due to chipset. Here is the support of SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10 and JBOD arrays. All SATA connectors are located perpendicular to board surface. Due to this fact and the absence of holes for fastening screws the user should be careful while the connection.  


ASUS A88XM-A motherboard is equipped with four DIMM-slots for memory modules of DDR3 standard which are equipped with latches on both sides. RAM can operate in dual channel mode. For its implementation modules should be installed either into first and third or second and fourth slots. Memory boards operating at frequencies up to 2133 MHz in the nominal mode and up to 2400 MHz while overclocking are supported. Despite the specified by manufacture support of 64GB memory the actual maximum index was 32GB. This should be enough for almost all tasks.


Cooling system of the product consists of one aluminum radiator. It provides heat removal out of AMD A88X circuit.

In the process of testing the following temperature indices were fixed:

• radiator for chipset cooling - 39,7°C;

• radiator for cooling of processor elements power - 50,1°C.

The received results are characterized as good.



Processor power supply is performed via 3+2 phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller ASP1206 with integrated DIGI+ power consumption subsystem control. All power components of CPU have high reliability level: solid Japanese capacitors and chokes with ferrite core are used. Basic 24-pin and additional 4-pin connectors are use for power feeding.   


To extend motherboard functionality the user has 3 slots:

  1. PCI Express 3.0 x16;
  2. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  3. PCI.

As we can see there is an opportunity to install only one graphics card that operates in AMD Dual Graphics mode with integrated graphics core. The configuration of this bundle is indentified by APU features. Pay attention to the fact that while the connection of graphics card with double-slot cooling system you will have only one PCI slot. It will be better to arrange the single PCI Express 2.0 x1 socket under PCI slot due to infrequent usage.


Multi I/O capabilities are based on ITE IT8603E chip which controls the operation of the system fans, COM and PS/2 ports, as well as provides the monitors.


To support network connections there is GB LAN-controller Realtek 8111G. Network resource sharing and traffic can be realized by the proprietary Network iControl utility. 


Sound subsystem is based on HAD codec of 8-channel sound Realtek ALC887 that supports 2/4/5.1/7.1 sound systems.


According to concept 5X PROTECTION the interface panel of ASUS A88XM-A model is made of high-quality stainless steel with layer of chrome oxide. It makes it more wearproof. Interface panel contains the following ports: 

  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x D-Sub;
  • 2 x PS/2 for mouse and keyboard connection;
  • 1 x LAN (RJ45);
  • 2 x USB 3.0;
  • 2 x USB 2.0;
  • 3 x audio port.

The complete packaging of interface panel can be considered as good: is has not only well video output set but also modern USB 3.0 ports. Also here you’ll find PS/2 sockets and the opportunity to remove COM port on interface panel. The peculiarity is inconvenient connection of multichannel audio and we’d like to have a great number of USB ports.



Cooling capabilities inside ASUS A88XM-A case are standard. Four sockets for fan connection are used to organize cooling of the motherboard. One of them is used for the CPU cooling system, and the other three to activate the system of fans.



Motherboard ASUS A88XM-A uses a modern pre-loader with UEFI basis. To provide the setting is possible using the mouse. Temperature and CPU voltage monitoring is displayed on UEFI BIOS main screen. Also in this section you can view the version BIOS, processor model and the capacity of installed RAM.


All overclocking settings can be found in “Ai Tweaker” section.

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