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::>Motherboards > 2015 > 04 > ASUS B85M-E

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22-04-2015


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Motherboard ASUS B85M-E: review and testing

In this review we will focus on the motherboard ASUS B85M-E. This microATX model which at an average cost of about $ 100 boasts of high reliability, support for modern interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s, as well as a number of other improvements and proprietary technologies, which will be discussed later.

Do note that it is based on chipset Intel B85, with key features and capabilities which you can find in the review of GIGABYTE GA-B85M-HD3. But now we are going to proceed directly to the specifications of ASUS B85M-E.

ASUS B85M-E

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

B85M-E (rev 1.02)

Chipset

Intel B85

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

CPUs supported

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron of 4th gen

Memory frequency

1600 / 1333 / 1066 MHz

Memory support

4 x DDR3 DIMM- slots with support of memory up to 32 GB

Expansion slots

 

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x4

x16

x16+x4

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x PCI

Disk subsystem

Intel B85 chipset supports:

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s (yellow)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (black)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111F (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

Power connectors

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

2 x system fan connectors (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiators on chipset

External I/O

1 x DVI-D

1 x D-Sub

1 x HDMI

1 x DisplayPort

1 x LAN (RJ45)

2 x USB 3.0

4 x USB 2.0

3 x audio jacks

2 х PS/2 (mouse and keyboard connection)

Internal I/O

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

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

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s

1 х TPM

1 x COM

1 x LPT

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

128 MbFlash ROM UEFI AMI BIOS

PnP, ACPI 2.0a, SM BIOS 2.7, DMI 2.0, WfM 2.0

Packaging

 

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor,

dimensions

microATX

244 х 213 mm

Producer website

ASUS
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available at support page

Package and content

ASUS B85M-E

Package of motherboard ASUS B85M-E is designed as a usual cardboard box decorated in corporate style with dark and golden hues. The front side, in addition to the names of the manufacturer and model of the device contains the information about the presence of chips for ESD protection and over-current, and contains support for a number of proprietary technologies, user-friendly interface UEFI BIOS, technology AMD CrossFireX, OS Windows 8.1 and package of technologies Intel Small Business Advantage, which will be useful for the office system.

ASUS B85M-E

On the reverse side of the package there is an image of the motherboard, a brief technical specification, as well as a list of supported technologies and features:

  • USB 3.0 Boost - to speed USB 3.0 interface there is a support for protocol UASP.
  • Fan Xpert 2 - intelligent fan control, allowing to achieve an efficient cooling with minimal noise.
  • AI Suite 3 - complete proprietary software, using which you can fine-tune a number of system settings without entering the BIOS.
  • GPU Boost - automatic overclocking technology of integrated graphics subsystem.
  • Network iControl - using the included software you can control network activity of your PC in real-time, and install each program priority access to network resources.

ASUS B85M-E

Package of ASUS B85M-E includes only the most necessary accessories, namely:

  • CD with drivers and utilities;
  • User Guide;
  • Two SATA-cables;
  • the interface panel plug.

Design and features

ASUS B85M-E

The motherboard is performed on dark brown PCB microATX format (244 x 213 mm) and decorated with dark and yellow shades, which provides fresh and not too strict design. On-board elements layout is implemented in a good way, but there are some nuances. The manufacturer took care of the convenience of assembly and has equipped DIMM-Slots by latches on one side only. But be careful when you connect the main power connector and ports SATA, as mounting holes on the right edge are absent. Also unpleasant thing is the overlap of the SATA connectors by dimensional graphics card.

ASUS B85M-E

Looking at the back of the motherboard, you can pay attention to the standard base plate of the socket, as well as the fact that the only chipset heatsink is attached with plastic clips.

ASUS B85M-E

At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in socket, LPT and TPM socket, CMOS and front panel connection module. Also here are two modules for additional USB 2.0 ports. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is eight: four internal and four on the interface panel.

ASUS B85M-E

Due to lack of space at the bottom of the PCB, connector COM is arranged over the slot PCI Express 3.0 x16.

ASUS B85M-E

The possibility of organizing a disk subsystem is presented by four ports SATA 6 Gb/s and two SATA 3 Gb/s. All interfaces are realized by chipset.

ASUS B85M-E

Main board ASUS B85M-E is equipped with two DIMM-slots for memory modules DDR3, which can operate in dual-channel mode. The modules should be installed either into first and third or second and fourth slot. Modules operating at frequencies from 1333 to 1600 MHz in nominal mode are supported. Maximum memory capacity may be up to 32 GB which is enough for all tasks.

Additionally note the module for connecting remote panel with ports USB 3.0. In total, our sample has four items: two external and two internal. All of them are implemented by the chipset.  

ASUS B85M-E

Cooling system of the product includes one aluminum radiator that provides heat removal from system logic Intel H85.

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

  • radiator for chipset cooling – 32.8°C (during overclocking the temperature was not changed as it was cooled by cooler of the graphics card);
  • field-effect transistor of CPU power subsystem – 60.7°C (during overclocking the temperature was 91,4°C);
  • chokes of CPU power subsystem – 59.2°C (during overclocking 81.5°C).

The results can be described as average, but there is an ample reserve up to the critical values. 

ASUS B85M-E

ASUS B85M-E

Processor power supply is performed via 3-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller ASP1255D. All power components of CPU have high reliability level: solid capacitors with increased lifetime, as well as chokes with ferrite core. Basic 24-pin and additional 4-pin connectors are use for power feeding.    

ASUS B85M-E

To extend the functionality the motherboard ASUS B85M-E has four slots:

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

Despite the presence of two slots PCI Express x16 and support for technology AMD CrossFireX, novelty is suitable to install only one graphics card, since one of the two connectors is connected to the chipset and its capacity is limited to four lines PCI Express 2.0. If you install two graphics cards the obtained scheme x16+x4 will not allow to fully unlock the potential of this bunch.

ASUS B85M-E

If you decided to take advantage of the integrated graphics core on the CPU, then you have four video outputs: HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI-D and D-Sub, navigated by the chip ASMedia ASM1442K.

ASUS B85M-E

Since the chipset Intel H85 doesn’t support bus PCI, the functioning of the respective slot is implemented by the bridge PCIE-PCI based on the controller ASMedia ASM1083.

ASUS B85M-E

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

ASUS B85M-E

To support network connection there is gigabit LAN-controller Realtek 8111F. A proprietary utility Network iControl helps to manage network resources in real-time.

ASUS B85M-E

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

ASUS B85M-E

Interface panel of ASUS B85M-E model contains the following ports:

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

This arrangement is quite decent for a budget model, since it is able to offer four video outputs, including HDMI and DisplayPort, a sufficient number of USB ports, as well as the ability to place COM and LPT ports on the rear panel using the appropriate connectors on the PCB. As for features, some users may be disappointed by inconvenient connection of multi-channel speakers.

ASUS B85M-E

ASUS B85M-E

ASUS B85M-E has quite standard features for organizing cooling system inside the case. There are three 4-pin fan connectors, one of which serves to cool the CPU, while the others are designed for system fan.

UEFI BIOS

Model uses modern preloader based on UEFI. To provide the setting is possible via mouse control. It proposes two main scenario of the usage.

ASUS B85M-E

“EZ Mode” mode where all required settings are grouped in one screen.

ASUS B85M-E

Or standard “Advanced Mode” mode where all settings should be done manually.

ASUS B85M-E

All overclocking parameters are in section “Ai Tweaker”.

ASUS B85M-E

Frequency multiplier allows to set module connection speed within 800-1600 MHz.

ASUS B85M-E

If necessary you can get the access to memory latency adjustments.

ASUS B85M-E

Top increase the stability during overclocking you can use voltage settings for key components.  

Adjustments required to overclock and optimize the system:

Parameter

Menu

Range

Step

RAM frequency

Memory Frequency

1600, 1400, 1333, 1066, 800

 

RAM timing

DRAM Timing

CAS Latency, RAS to CAS, RAS PRE Time, RAS ACT Time, DRAM COMMAND Mode, RAS to RAS Delay, REF Cycle Time, Write Recovery Time, READ to PRE Time, FOUR ACT WIN Time, WRITE to READ Delay, Write Latency

 

 

Min. CPU Cache Ratio Limit

8 – MAX

1

 

Max CPU Cache Ratio Limit

8 – MAX

1

 

Long Duration Package Power Limit

1 – 4096

1

 

Package Power Time Window

1 − 127

1

 

Short Duration Package Power Limit

1 − 4096

1

 

CPU Integrated VR Current Limit

0,125 – 1023,875

0,125

 

Power Current Slope

Auto, Level -4 – Level 4

 

 

Power Current Offset

Auto, -100% − +100%

12,5 %

 

Power Fast Ramp Response

0,00 – 1,50

0,001

 

Power Saving Level 1 Threshold

0 – 80

1

 

Power Saving Level 2 Threshold

0 – 50

1

 

Power Saving Level 3 Threshold

0 – 30

1

 

CPU Core Voltage Override

0,001 – 1,920

0,001

 

CPU Cache Voltage Override

0,001 – 1,920

0,001

 

CPU System Agent Voltage Offset

0,001 – 0,999

0,001

 

CPU Analog I/O Voltage Offset

0,001 – 0,999

0,001

 

CPU Digital I/O Voltage Offset

0,001 – 0,999

0,001

RAM voltage

DRAM Voltage

1,18500 – 1,80000

0,00500

 

DRAM CTRL REF Voltage

0,39500 – 0,63000

0,00500

 

DRAM DATA REF Voltage on CHA

0,39500 – 0,63000

0,00500

 

DRAM DATA REF Voltage on CHB

0,39500 – 0,63000

0,00500

ASUS B85M-E

ASUS B85M-E

“Monitor” section provides the access to information about temperature of CPU, fan rotation speed and monitor voltage on power lines +12V, +5V and +3,3V. Also it is possible to take screenshots.  


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