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Pros: At default settings, the board works fine. I knew that I needed a FM2 processor to use the motherboard before hand, so I was ready for it not to be FM2+ ready, which it wasn't. So all was well on that end. It has a nice VRM heatsink and plenty of connectivity options. A fairly decent motherboard.
Built in Wifi is great with Intel's latest drivers, and the magnet on the antennae is a cool idea, but doesn't work with my aluminum case :(
This isn't a bad board, first and foremost I want to get that across, it just has very early BIOS with bad feature support and worse tech support standing behind it.
If you use default settings, the AMD stock heatsink and never go into the BIOS, please consider it, this is a great motherboard.
Cons: Terrible support from both Intel and Gigabyte.
The Intel 7260-AC wifi that is built into this board had many issues with the initial Windows 7 driver. It would frequently disconnect and need the PC restarted to get connectivity back. Weeks of tech support with Intel (or really, waiting for them to get around to answering and my questions) and I had no solution. Then the released an updated driver and everything from there was peachy. No thanks to tech support, but hooray for their driver team getting the lead out.
Now, Gigabyte's issues. I'm STILL troubleshooting issues with their board. Their turn-around time is terrible and when I had two separate concerns, they ignored BOTH to tell me to group my questions together. I had to wait 5 days for them to snub me and ask me to group my questions together??? OH HAR HAR VERY FUNNY, GIGABYTE.
The only program that will read my A10-7850k's temps properly is their Easy Tune 6 (AIDA, HWmonitor, CoreTemp and Open Hardware monitor all fail) but it frequently crashes with "GUI MFC" errors. I contacted their customer support about that too (a week ago) and am still waiting for answers.
If you try to set a lower Vcore to undervolt your APU, it will fix the Vcore to that value and it won't go down to idle voltages anymore. I tried contacting customer service about it and they fed me some "Oh, our default settings have no problem with that!" bullcrap and I had to REMIND THEM I was NOT using default settings. Still waiting for a proper answer on that too!
Voltages are shaky, too. You want 1.5v ram? Too bad, it's 1.54 now. You have to pick 1.48 or 1.46v to get 1.5v in Windows. It doesn't let you set RAM voltage to 1.65, but gives you 1.64 and 1.66, but picking either one gives you higher voltages in Window's, as Easy Tune 6 reports 1.67 when you pick 1.64 and 1.69 when you pick 1.66.
As another customer said, the APU's temps in BIOS skyrocket to the high 70's (See Steven S.). I'm not sure why, but an AMD A10-7850k has a max temp of 72.4 according to AMD's support. This means just browsing the BIOS can make your APU hot enough to fry it. That is unacceptable. Again, contacted Gigabyte about it, haven't gotten a straight answer yet.
If it wasn't for the fact that Gigabyte's tech support didn't take so long to reply, I would have returned this board within the 30 days Newegg gives you. Hindsight is 20/20, I won't be getting Gigabyte boards and expect any customer service anymore- if i don't like anything with the board, I will return it promptly.
THIS IS NOT A MOTHERBOARD FOR OVERCLOCKING, UNDERVOLTING OR TWEAKING. ONLY BUY IT IF YOU INTEND TO USE THE DEFAULT SETTINGS.
Other Thoughts: These aren't issues, but things you should be aware of: The CPU socket is placed awkwardly, it is very close to the PCIe and ram slots and severely limits options for aftermarket cooling. Coolermaster's Gemini II M4 will block the first RAM slot and the PCIe slot.
The Tech Report uses a Noctua NH-L9a on this exact same motherboard (pictured in "A quick look at Mantle on AMD's Kaveri APU") and it doesn't block the PCIe slot or the ram, I've considered using it in the future.
This review is from: Cooler Master GeminII M4 - CPU Cooler with 4 Direct Contact Heatpipes
Pros: It does an EXCELLENT job cooling and is, compared to the stock AMD heatsink fan, whisper quiet.
Cons: The base isn't flat and has deep grooves between the heatpipes. This, of course, requires different TIM application methods compared to flat-based heatsinks.
It is wide and only fits one way for AMD boards, dependent on how the board's original mounting bracket is placed. This means poor compatibility for mini-itx motherboards, as this heatsink can easily block PCIe slots and ram slots. If you do proper research, this shouldn't be a problem.
Other Thoughts: I didn't do my research. I bought a great product that just wasn't for my motherboard, a Gigabyte F2A88XN-Wifi FM2+ board.
The heatsink wasn't rotatable 90 degrees, so I lost both my first ram slot (standard height ram would not fit, I suspect low-profile wouldn't also) and my PCIe slot. The heatsink was also right over my CPU 4-pin plugin spot, so it made it incredibly hard to plug in my power supply.
Had I done proper research before buying this heatsink, and basic observations, I would never have bought this heatsink and my problems would have been non-existent.
Things to look for when using this in a mini-itx build are:
1. How far are the ram slots compared to the socket?
*Note that mounting brackets perpendicular to the ram slots may mean you will lose one of your ram slots, since you won't be able to turn the heatsink 90 degrees.
2. How close is my socket to the PCIe slot?
*never be willing to bend your graphics card to make it fit, it needs to be level and not touching the CPU heatsink.
3. Where are my audio/usb/CPU power plugs on the motherboard? Will the heatsink obscure them or keep me from being able to easily add or remove the plugs?
Keep these things in mind and I'm sure none of you will relive my stupidity.
Pros: Bought primarily for a AMD APU rig using the latest Kaveri based A10-850k. Tested on two motherboards and 4 processors without errors at lower speeds. Runs great at 1.5v 1600mhz. Stays pretty cool at those settings. No errors in Memtest 86+ after 24 hours.
Cons: Doesn't reach advertised speeds.
First I tried testing the ram before my A10-7850k showed up. Using Intel XMP on Asrock Z68 Mobo which supports 2133 mhz ram caused constant reboots with no way into the BIOS without resetting it by taking out the motherboard battery. I tried with both an i5-2500k and a i5-3470s. 1866 settings would boot into windows but would quickly blue screen.
Yes, I know, those processors aren't built to handle 2133 mhz speeds and that it's up to the luck of the draw as to whether those chips can handle it or not. I held off judgement.
My A10-7850k arrives. I used a A4-4000 to flash to the latest bios on my Gigabyte A88 FM2+ Mini-itx board and throw in the A10 and install Windows 7 64-bit. Ram in Gigabyte board, by defualt, was 1.5v 1600mhz. The board supported loading XMP profiles, so I did so. Loaded up 2133mhz at 1.65v.
Wouldn't boot properly. I kept getting boot errors and the motherboard prompting me to load defaults or go back to bios. Didn't once make it to loading Win7.
I try the same timings at a lower speed of 1866 at the same voltage of 1.65v. Boots to Windows7, bu with immediate artifacting and obvious visual glitches.
Moved back down to 1600mhz cas 9-9-9-20 @ 1.5v and no problems.
Other Thoughts: Gotta say, I didn't expect this memory to not be able to reach 1866mhz or 2133mhz. Ram doesn't seem board-incompatible, as it runs great at the lower frequencies with no issue. It passes Memtest just fine at 1600mhz on two different motherboards and 3 different processors, but none can reach 1866, no less 2133. It's not faulty ram, just improperly specced ram.
I'll get a replacement from Newegg as many times as necessary to get my 2133mhz ram, the A10 needs faster ram for the graphics to live up to their potential.
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