Gigabyte GA-F2A88X-UP4 AMD FM2+ Motherboard
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 02-19-2014
Provided by: Gigabyte

It seems AMD is always playing catch-up these days when it comes to chasing after rival Intel. While Haswell released last summer utilizing a 22nm manufacturing process, AMD failed to meet its initial planned release date for 28nm Steamroller in 2013, instead pushing back to 1Q this year. Steamroller marks the third generation of their two-core module design that started with Bulldozer in 2011 and continued with Piledriver through 2012 and into 2013. There were actually two models of APU built on the Piledriver design, Trinity and Richland, plus their performance desktop FX chip Vishera. Confused yet? Let's have a look at AMD's roadmaps from 2013 to 2014.

As you can see, while AMD's latest Kaveri APU processor is based on the new Steamroller design, the performance FX series shows no such update. In fact, looking at AMD's 2014 roadmap, the FX line disappears entirely and the Kaveri APU takes over the performance segment. The graphics portion of the chip is upgraded to a Volcanic Islands R7-based GPU featuring up to 512 stream processors, GCN (Graphics Core Next) Mantle and AMD True Audio. These new features dictate an upgraded chipset, and FM2+ socket boards have been commercially available since last year. These new models include the A88X and A78, plus a revamp of some of their previous chipsets. It's the newest A88X chipset motherboard that Gigabyte has sent us for review today.

The F2A88X-UP4 fills a spot in Gigabyte's lineup of thirteen FM2+ boards that is at the upper echelon, just shy of the top G1.Sniper gaming platform. It features Gigabyte's newest Ultra Durable 5 Plus component design, utilizing IR (International Rectifier) Digital PWM Controllers and PowlRstage ICs. Cooling these components is Gigabyte's integrated three-way heatpipe heatsink design. Also included is Gigabyte's DualBIOS, Two-way CrossFire, 2x Copper PCB and onboard debug LED and quick buttons. All FM2+ boards are backwards compatible with FM2-based processors, but obviously they're made with the latest Kaveri chips in mind.

Join us as we take a closer look at the Gigabyte GA-F2A88X-UP4 FM2+ motherboard.

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