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::>Motherboards > 2015 > 04 > GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

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04-04-2015


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MotherboardGIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2: review and testing 

New product and the hero of this review, the motherboard GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2 is an entry-level solution in format microATX. It has a good combination of a number of useful technologies, traditionally high performance quality, as well as quite decent and modern equipment.  

Talking about its characteristics, first of all let’s note that the GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2 is made on the basis of the new chipset AMD A68H, which is designed to replace the AMD A58 as entry-level chipset to work with processors of series серии AMD Kaveri or solutions of lineup AMD Trinity/Richland. Let's take a look at other characteristics.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

 

The specs:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-F2A68HM-HD2 (rev 1.0)

Chipset

AMD A68H

CPU socket

Socket FM2+

Supported CPUs

AMD A / AMD Athlon

Memory frequency

2400* / 2133 / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 MHz

(*OC)

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM- slot with memory support up to 64 GB

Expansion slots

1 x PCI Express 3.0 x16

1 x PCI Express 2.0 x1

1 x PCI

Disk subsystem

AMD A68H chipset supports:

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, JBOD

LAN

1 x Realtek 8111G (10/100/1000 Мb/s)

Sound subsystem

codec Realtek ALC887

2/4/5.1/7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

24-pin ATX main power connector

8-pin ATX12V power connector

Fans

1 x CPU fan connector (4-pin)

2 x system fan connector (4-pin)

Cooling

Aluminum radiator on chipset

Extenral I/O

1 х 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

1 х PS/2 (mouse or keyboard)

Internal I/O

2 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 х socket COM

1 x USB 2.0 each with support of two USB 2.0

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x CMOS

BIOS

2 х 64 Mb UEFI BIOS

PnP 1.0а, DMI2.7, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0

Packaging

User’s manual

Warranty card

Disk with drivers and utilities

2 x SATA cables2 x adapters for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

226 х 174 mm

Producer website

GIGABYTE
Updated versions of BIOS and drives are available on support page

Package and content

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

Package of motherboard GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2 is made of cardboard and decorated with quality printing in a corporate style. When looking at the box, first drew the attention of the model and the manufacturer. Slightly below there is a logo of branded concept Ultra Durable 4 Plus, which includes the following features:

  • Ultra Cool & Perfomance - power circuits use high field-effect transistors with low on-resistance (Low RDS (on)) and durable solid capacitors.
  • Ultra Safe - this model is equipped with two chips with firmware BIOS (main and reserve), which will allow you to avoid a visit to the service center in case of damage to the main chip. Do note the presence of additional protection of ports USB and LAN ESD. Each LAN and USB-port works in conjunction with a special protective filter that is able to withstand severe electrostatic discharge, which protects the system from power surges, even during a thunderstorm. Also do note the presence of protective circuits, safeguard internal components against overvoltage and an improved laying fiberglass-based PCB, thus reducing the negative impact of moisture.

One of the main advantages of the new product is the support to connect three monitors, and there are three video outputs (HDMI, DVI-D and D-Sub).

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

On the reverse side you can draw attention to a large schematic representation of the motherboard and the configuration of the interface panel. Also there is a short list of characteristics of the device and the mention of the key advantages of new item:

  • area of the PCB with soldered sound system, shielded with a special metal strip;
  • the audio subsystem uses special upscale audio capacitors manufactured by Nichicon.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

Scope of delivery device includes only the most necessary, namely interface panel plug, two cables SATA, CD with software and user manual.

Design and features  

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

The tested model is implemented on a dark brown printed circuit board in format microATX. It is compact, but at the same time it has non-standard dimensions (226 x 174 mm). Due to this feature, you can mark the original layout of some onboard elements. For example, half of SATA ports are located at the bottom of the board, while the other half is at the right side.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

However, this feature is not a disadvantage, because the graphics card even with dual-slot cooler will not complicate the connection of drives.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

Also note the manufacturer's care about, that installed video accelerator won’t interfere with the install and remove of memory modules, despite the fact that the DIMM-Slots are equipped with latches on both sides.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

The reverse side of new product has standard base plate of the socket and plastic clip fastening single radiator, which is responsible for cooling the chipset.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in socket, S/PDIF out, socket COM and front panel connection module and one of two sockets to connect system fans. Also here are two modules for additional ports USB 2.0. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is eight: four internal and four on the interface panel. Also here you can find two ports USB 3.0 on interface panel. Inner modules to connect remove panels with USB 3.0 are absent.  

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

The possibility of organizing a disk subsystem is presented by four SATA 6 Gb/s ports arranged perpendicular to board surface. All interfaces are realized by chipset. There is a support for arrays SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 100 and JBOD.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

Main board GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2 is equipped with two DIMM-slots for memory modules DDR3, which are equipped with latches on both sides. Modules operating at frequencies up to 2133 MHz in nominal mode and up to 2400 MHz during overclocking are supported. Maximum memory capacity may be up to 64 GB, the actual maximum amount will not exceed 16 GB due to the absence of modules larger than 8 GB. However, this is more than enough to handle all the tasks set by the user to a compact system.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

Cooling system of the product includes one aluminum radiator that provides heat removal from system logic AMD A68H. In the process of testing the following temperature indices were fixed:

  • radiator for chipset cooling – 52°C;
  • field-effect transistor of CPU power subsystem – 57.4°C;
  • chokes of CPU power subsystem – 62.1°C.

Demonstrated results tell us that the key components won’t face with overheating, as there is a large enough margin to the critical temperature.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

Processor power supply is performed via 5-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. Converter is based on a digital PWM controller ISL62773. All power components of CPU have high reliability level: solid capacitors, MOS-transistors with low on-channel resistance, as well as chokes with ferrite core. Basic 24-pin and additional 8-pin connectors are use for power feeding.     

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

To extend the functionality the motherboard has three slots:

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

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

As you can see, there is a possibility of installing only one graphics card, which can operate in mode AMD Dual Graphics with an integrated graphics core. Do note that in the case of connecting the graphics card with dual-slot cooling, you will have free access only one slot PCI, which means that if you want additional installation, for example, a discrete sound card, you will be limited by models with interface PCI.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

Multi I/O capabilities are based on ITE IT8620E chip which controls the operation of system fans, ports COM and PS/2 and provides the monitoring. 

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

To support network connection there is gigabit LAN-controller Realtek 8111G. 

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

Sound subsystem is based on HAD codec of 8-channel sound Realtek ALC887 that supports 2/4/5.1/7.1 sound systems. It uses high quality Japanese audio capacitors, and the sound section is separated by protective bar to reduce the interferences.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

Interface panel of GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2 model contains the following ports:

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

Note sufficient number of USB ports, the presence of three video outputs, as well as the opportunity to bring COM port to the rear part by the appropriate pad on the PCB. The features include unless inconvenient connection of multi-channel speakers, where you have to use the audio ports on the front panel or interface HDMI.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-HD2

The possibility of organizing the cooling system inside the body is pretty standard. Here are three 4-pin fan connectors, one of which is used for the CPU cooling system, while the other are intended for system fan.


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