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

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Republish review

24-04-2015


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Motherboard ASUS B85M-G: review and testing

Not all users require flagship ATX solution, because some are planning to build a compact office or home entertainment system, and do not want to spend too much. If you look at the specs of the hero of our review, the motherboard ASUS B85M-G, at first glance it is very attractive candidate for purchase for the implementation of the voiced above plans. New product offers not only a compact form factor microATX, but also a relatively affordable price of about $75 - 80. At the same time it has the support of ports COM and LPT, used in an office environment, as well as modern interfaces USB 3.0 and SATA 6 Gb/s. Let's move on to the review and find out whether it is good as it might seem at first glance. 

ASUS B85M-G

The specs:

Producer

ASUS

Model

B85M-G (rev 1.01)

Chipset

Intel B85

CPU socket

Socket LGA1150

CPUs supported

Intel Core i7 / Core i5 / Core i3 / Pentium / Celeron 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

2 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

Disk subsystem

Intel B85 chipset supports:

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s (yellow)

2 x SATA 3 Gb/s (dark brown)

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

Codec Realtek ALC887

8-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin power socket ATX

4-pin power socket ATX12V

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

1 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 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 с

1 x COM

1 x LPT

1 х S/PDIF Out

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

64 Mb Flash 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

233 х 193 mm

 Producer website

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

Package and content

ASUS B85M-G

Motherboard ASUS B85M-G comes in the familiar cardboard box decorated with the graphic in the corporate style. Key elements of the design of front panel are manufacturer and model of the device and logo for technology ASUS 5X Protection. Additionally you can pay attention to the support of the operating system Windows 8.1, and package of technology Intel Small Business Advantage.

ASUS B85M-G

The reverse side of the package has the image of the product, its brief specifications, as well as key features and benefits:

  • ASUS 5X Protection - involves the use of digital power subsystem ASUS DIGI+ VRM, the protection of external interfaces and memory modules from overcurrent and short-circuit current, high-quality solid capacitors with a lifetime of 5000 hours at 105°C, the steel interface panel with increased resistance to corrosive and chips for ESD protection.
  • USB 3.0 Boost - to speed interface USB 3.0 there is support for protocol UASP.
  • Fan Xpert - smart fan control, allowing to achieve an efficient computer cooling with minimal noise.
  • AI Suite 3 – there is proprietary software, with which you can fine-tune a number of system settings without entering the BIOS.
  • GPU Boost - automatic overclocking technology is integrated into the processor graphics.

ASUS B85M-G

In the box with the ASUS B85M-G we found quite a standard set of accessories for low-cost model:

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

Design and features

ASUS B85M-G

Motherboard ASUS B85M-G is formed on the dark brown printed circuit board in format microATX (233 x 193 mm). Do note a good approach to the design of appearance: despite its relatively affordable price the novelty looks quite fresh and stylish.

ASUS B85M-G

As for the on-board elements layout, all ports and connectors are located on the best places, so you won’t have problems with the building the system based on the new item.

ASUS B85M-G

As you can see, the manufacturer made sure that the installed graphics card does not interfere with install and remove memory modules, equipping DIMM-Slots by snaps on one side only.

ASUS B85M-G

Looking at the back side of new item, you can pay attention to the standard base plate of the socket, as well as the fact that the chipset is attached by the plastic clips.

ASUS B85M-G

At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in socket, S/PDIF Out, sockets LPT and COM, 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. All of them are realized by chipset Intel B85.

ASUS B85M-G

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

ASUS B85M-G

Note that when you install the overall graphics card the access to several SATA ports can be difficult, but not completely blocked. If you install a graphics accelerator with three slot cooler, a perpendicular port SATA 6Gb/s will be unavailable.

ASUS B85M-G

Main board ASUS B85M-G is equipped with four DIMM-slots for memory modules DDR3, which are equipped with clamps only on one side. RAM 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-G

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 – 35.8°C;
  • field-effect transistor of CPU power subsystem – 81.0°C (during overclocking the temperature was 97.7°C);
  • chokes of CPU power subsystem – 61.1°C (during overclocking 78.1°C) ;
  • PWM-controller ASP1253 - 46,5°C (during overclocking - 49,8°C).

The results can be described as average. In nominal mode you won’t face with any problem, but under significant overclocking there is an affect due to the absence of a radiator MOSFET power subsystem. By the way originally it is not positioned as a solution for overclocking experiments.

ASUS B85M-G

ASUS B85M-G

Processor power supply is performed via 3-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller ASP1253. 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-G

To extend the functionality the motherboard ASUS B85M-G has three slots:

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

Note that if you install a graphics card with dual-slot cooling system, you have only slot PCI Express 2.0 x1.

ASUS B85M-G

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

ASUS B85M-G

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-G

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

ASUS B85M-G

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-G

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

  • 1 x DVI-D;
  • 1 x D-Sub;
  • 1 x HDMI;
  • 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 jacks.

Configuration of interface panel has support for ports USB 3.0, as well as three video outputs, including digital HDMI and DVI-D. Do note the possibility of placing of COM and LPT ports on the interface of the PC using the appropriate connectors on the PCB. The features include only inconvenient connection of the multichannel speakers where you need to use the audio outputs on the front panel of the case or transmit sound via HDMI.

ASUS B85M-G

ASUS B85M-G

ASUS B85M-G has quite standard features for organizing cooling system inside the case. There are two 4-pin fan connectors, one of which serves to cool the CPU, while the other is 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-G

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

ASUS B85M-G

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

ASUS B85M-G

All overclocking parameters are in section “Ai Tweaker”.

ASUS B85M-G

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

ASUS B85M-G

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

ASUS B85M-G

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

 

Тайминги оперативной памяти

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

 

CPU Input Voltage

0,800 – 2,700

0,001

 

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-G

ASUS B85M-G

“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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