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::>Motherboards > 2015 > 05 > GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

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25-05-2015


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Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1: review and testing

In this review we will talk about the model GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1, which is an entry-level solution, and is performed in a compact format microATX. It has a good combination of a number of useful technologies, traditionally high quality of building, as well as quite decent and modern equipment.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

Note that the GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1 is based on the new chipset AMD A68H, which is intended to replace chipset AMD A58 for entry-level work with processors series AMD Kaveri or solutions of lineups AMD Trinity/ Richland.

Let's take a look at other specification. The specification:

Producer  

GIGABYTE

Model

GA-F2A68HM-S1 (rev 1.0)

Chipset

AMD A68H

Integrated processor

Socket FM2+

Supported CPUs

AMD A / AMD Athlon

Memory frequency

2400* / 2133 / 1866 / 1600 / 1333 МГц

(*OC)

Memory support

2 x DDR3 DIMM-slots 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

Кодек Realtek ALC887

2/4/5.1/7.1-channel sound

S/PDIF Out

Power

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

Extenral I/O

1 x D-Sub

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)

Internal I/O

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

4 x SATA 6 Gb/s

1 x connector of audio output to front panel

1 x set of front panel connectors

1 x S/PDIF Out

1 x CMOS

BIOS

1 х 64 Мb UEFI BIOS

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

Packaging

user manual

warranty card

disk with drives and documents

2 x SATA cables

1 х interface panel plug

Form-factor, dimensions

microATX

225 х 174 mm

Producer website

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

Package and content

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1 comes in a cardboard box decorated with qualitative printing in a corporate style. The package contains the name of model and the manufacturer. Slightly below  you can find the logo of branded concept Ultra Durable, which includes the following features:

  • Ultra Cool & Performance - power circuits uses high field-effect transistors with low on-resistance (Low RDS (on)), as well as durable solid capacitors.
  • Ultra Safe - this model is equipped with 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. Do note the presence of protective circuits, safeguard internal components against overvoltage and an improved laying of fiberglass in the PCB, thus reducing the negative impact of moisture.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

On the reverse side can draw attention to a schematic picture of the configuration of the motherboard and 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;
  • special technology GIGABYTE On/Off Charge allows charge your media devices even when the PC is off.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

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

Design and features

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1 is made on dark brown PCB in microATX format. It has compact but at the same time slightly non-standard dimensions (225 x 174 mm). Due to this feature, you can note the original layout of certain on-board elements.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

For example, half of SATA ports is placed at the bottom of the board, while the other half is on the right side. However, this feature is not a disadvantage, because the graphics card even with dual-slot cooler will not make it more difficult to connect drives.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

Also note the fact that the DIMM-slots are equipped with latches on both sides. The installed video card will not impede the replacement of memory modules as connectors are located at a sufficient distance from each other.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

Separately we want to highlight of the applications of electrolytic capacitors in the chain. In this case here are Japanese solutions from renowned company Nippon Chemi-Con, so the quality is not in doubt. As for the processor power subsystem, there are reliable and durable solid-state counterparts.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

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

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

At the bottom of the board there are the following connectors: front panel audio leading-in socket, S/PDIF out, CMOS, as well as front panel connection module and one socket for connection of system fans. Also here are two modules for connection of additional interfaces USB 2.0. Total number of USB 2.0 sockets is eight: four are internal and four on the interface panel and two USB 3.0 on interface panel. 

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

The possibility of organizing a disk subsystem is presented four ports SATA 6 Gb/s, arranged perpendicular to the surface of the board. All of them are functioning thanks to the chipset. There is support for arrays RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, and JBOD.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

The tested model is equipped by two DIMM-slots for memory modules of DDR3 standard that are equipped with latches from both sides. Modules operating at frequencies up to 2133 MHz in the nominal mode and up to 2400 MHz in overclocked mode are supported.

Despite the stated by manufacturer support for 64 GB of RAM, 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.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

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

  • radiator for chipset cooling – 64.9°C (during overclocking 65.5°C);
  • field-effect transistor of power subsystem–  74.7°C (during overclocking 82°C);
  • chocks of power subsystem – 65.5°C (during overclocking 73.2°C).

Demonstrated results tell us that you won’t face with overheating is as there is still stock to the critical temperature even during overclocking.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

Processor power supply is performed via 5-phase scheme for computational cores and additional joints. The transformer is based on PWM controller ISL62773. The circuitry is made by high quality components such as: solid capacitors, MOS transistors with low resistance of open channel and chokes with ferrite cores. Basic 24-pin and additional 4-pin connectors are use for power feeding.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

To extend the functionality of GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1 user has three slots:

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

As you can see, there is a possibility of installing only one video card, which can operate in mode AMD Dual Graphics with an integrated graphics core. In case of connection a video card with dual-slot cooling system, you will have free access to only one slot PCI, which means that if you want to install a discrete sound card, you will be limited to models with interface PCI.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

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

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

To support network connections there is a GB LAN-controller Realtek RTL8111G.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

Sound subsystem of model is based on the 8-channel codec Realtek ALC887 which supports 2/4/5.1/7.1 audio systems. The audio path is separated by the protective strip from the other components in order to reduce interference.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

Interface panel of the model contains the following ports:

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

Note sufficient number of USB ports and the presence of a D-Sub video output to connect an analog monitor. The features include inconvenient connection of multichannel speakers, where you need to use the audio ports on the front panel, and the lack of modern digital video output HDMI.

GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1

The means of organizing the cooling system inside the case of GIGABYTE GA-F2A68HM-S1 are quite standard. There are three 4-pin fan connectors, one of which is used for CPU cooling system, while the others are designed for system fans.  


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