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::>Motherboards > 2014 > 04 > ASUS A88XM-PLUS

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24-04-2014


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ASUS A88XM-PLUS motherboard review and performance testing

Today we would like to talk about a new product to be exact ASUS A88XM-PLUS. In comparison with its “neighbor” of AMD Kaveri or AMD Trinity / Richland this is a product of higher class. Firstly it is important to note that at the moment of reviewing the price was within $ 90 USD. In comparison with previously examined ASUS A88XM-A motherboard ASUS A88XM-PLUS have got many advantages from SATA 6GB/s to additional PCI Express x16 expansion slots as well as the support of AMD CrossFireX technology.

So let’s pass to the review of this motherboard and find out what can Company ASUS propose in this price segment.

 ASUS A88XM-PLUS 

ASUS A88XM-PLUS motherboard specification:

Producer

ASUS

Model

A88XM-PLUS (rev 1.03)

Chipset

AMD A88X

CPU socket

Socket FM2+

CPU supported

AMD A / AMD Athlon

Memory frequency

2400* / 2250* / 2200* / 2133 / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 MHz

(*OS)

RAM support

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

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x16

x16

x16+x4

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 х PCI

 

Disk subsystem

AMD A88X chipset supports:

8 x SATA 6 GB/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, JBOD

LAN

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

Audio subsystem

Realtek ALC887 codec

2 / 4 / 5.1 / 7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power connectors

1 х 24-pin ATX main power connector

1 x 4-pin ATX 12V power ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

2 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum fan on the chipset

Aluminum fan on elements of power subsystem

External I/O

1 x HDMI

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 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)

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

8 x SATA 6 GB/s

1 x COM socket

1 x LPT socket

1 x TPM 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

1 x MemOK button!

1 х GPU Boost swith

BIOS

64 MB Flash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

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

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty description booklet

Driver disc

2 x SATA cables

1 х faceplate of interface panel

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

244 х 234 mm

Producer website

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

Packaging and content

 ASUS A88XM-PLUS 

The package of this product doesn’t have any distinctive features from previously learnt ASUS A88XM-A. It is performed from qualitative cardboard with standard design of yellow-dark colors. In the front side besides company name, name of chipset, type of CPU supported and device model you’ll find the conformity to concept 5X PROTECTION which 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.

 ASUS A88XM-PLUS

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).

 ASUS A88XM-PLUS 

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-PLUS

Model ASUS A88XM- PLUS is pefrormed on microATX dark brown printed circuit board (236 x 234 mm). Dark colors of the board and ports are completed with bright yellow elements. This is ASUS corporate identity.

The packaging of the elements is pretty good but there are some peculiarities. First of all this is a unique arrangement of TPM socket over expansion slots. Secondly, the leading-in socket of remote panel with USB 3.0 ports were shifted from right side to bottom part and this fact may cause the inconvenience for cabling. Also here you’ll not find the holes for fastening screws on the right side. So we don’t recommend to make much efforts during connection of 24-pin ATX socket, RAM modules and three SATA-interfaces.  

 ASUS A88XM-PLUS 

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.

 ASUS A88XM-PLUS At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in sockets, S/PDIF out, COM and LPT ports, as well as front panel leading-in socket. Also here are: four USB leading-in sockets: three for USB 2.0 and one for USB 3.0. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is ten: (six internal and four 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. ASUS A88XM-PLUS 

The possibility of disk subsystem organization is performed by eight 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. As it can be seen a portion of SATA sockets is parallel to board surface and another portion has perpendicular direction. As a result even the longest expansion boards won’t embarrass the connection of drives. But due to the absence of fastening screws on the right side you should be careful during the usage of three perpendicular ports.

ASUS A88XM-PLUS ASUS A88XM- PLUS 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.

In addition we want to pay your attention to MemOK! Button. It is a button used to adjust settings of RAM to enable system operation. Also here is GPU Boost switch used for overclocking the graphics core.

 ASUS A88XM-PLUS 

 ASUS A88XM-PLUS 

Cooling system of the product consists of two aluminum radiator. The first provides heat removal out of AMD A88X circuit, while the second covers the elements of power subsystem.

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

• radiator for chipset cooling - 46,5°°C;

• radiator for cooling of processor elements power - 45,7°C.

Despite elevated temperature of radiator on the chipset, the received results are characterized as good.

ASUS A88XM-PLUS

ASUS A88XM-PLUS

Processor power supply is performed via 2+4 phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller ASP1106 with integrated DIGI+VRM 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.    

ASUS A88XM-PLUS To extend motherboard functionality the user has 4 slots:

  1. PCI Express 3.0 x16 (in mode х16);
  2. PCI Express 2.0 x1;
  3. PCI;
  4. PCI Express 2.0 x16 (in mode х4);

Even taking into consideration the support of AMD CrossFireX technology, this configuration is suitable only for one graphics card. In case of two graphics adapters connection the lines between them are divided according х16+х4 scheme. Also there is a support of AMD Dual Graphics technology with allows to operation together with integrated graphics core.

In such a way the second PCI Exrepss x16 socket should be used for the connection of any expansion board taking into account that during the installation of double-slot graphics card the PCI Express 2.0 x1 slot won’t be available.

ASUS A88XM-PLUS

Multi I/O capabilities are based on Nuvoton NCT6791D chip which controls the operation of the system fans, COM, LPT and PS/2 ports, as well as provides the monitors.

ASUS A88XM-PLUS 

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. 

ASUS A88XM-PLUS

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

 ASUS A88XM-PLUS 

According to concept 5X PROTECTION the interface panel of ASUS A88XM-PLUS 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;
  • 4 x USB 2.0;
  • 3 x audio port.

As you can see this interface panel has four USB 2.0 ports in contrast to two in the ASUS A88XM-A. As a result the only peculiarity is inconvenient connection of multichannel audio system. As for the advantages. Here is a good set of video outputs, as well as the opportunity to remove the COM and LPT ports on the interface panel using the appropriate connectors on the board.

Thus, the interface panel earns the praise due to the support of various peripheries as well as the presence of a sufficient amount of all popular video outputs and ports.

ASUS A88XM-PLUS

ASUS A88XM-PLUS

Cooling capabilities inside ASUS A88XM-PLUS 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.

UEFI BIOS 

ASUS A88XM-PLUS 

Motherboard ASUS A88XM-PLUS 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.

 ASUS A88XM-PLUS 

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

 ASUS A88XM-PLUS 

Frequency multiplier allows to set module connection speed within 800-2400MHz.


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