Asus F2A85-V PRO Mainboard - A Socket FM2 Mainboard With Good Performance (Part 4)

6/24/2013 9:02:13 AM

Operational and overclocking specifics

Assembling a configuration based on the Asus F2A85-V PRO did not cause any problems. The first system boot also ran smoothly. Upon system boot the board displays a startup image, which, unfortunately, does not contain any suggestion on the list of available hot keys, unlike the products from other mainboard manufacturers. For example, we can mention that F8 lead to a menu where you can select the boot device while pressing the Tab key will hide all boot images.

The boot image can be hidden

The boot image can be hidden

You can hide the startup image not only for the current system boot-up by pressing the Tab key, but also completely disable it with the help of the "Full Screen Logo" option in the BIOS itself although this setup will not attach in the BIOS configuration. If you disable the startup image, the system will display the correct processor frequency, the memory frequency and size, as well as information about the external device and drive are connected.

Disable startup image

Disable startup image

However, the modern Asus mainboards start too fast that you can hardly register this information at all. Fast boot-up and transition to OS loading is a definite advantage of any mainboard, but it becomes a shortcoming at the system configuration stage. It can become very troublesome when you simply miss the moment to press the Del key to access the BIOS Setup. Therefore, the above-mentioned DirectKey button can receive a warm welcome on our part, had it not been for some of the unique peculiarities in the implementation of this feature.

The first time we encounter a GO2BIOS button with the same function was during our MSI Z77 MPOWER mainboard review. Back then, we simply mention the new button, because its function is quite simple and obvious, so there is no need to read in any additional comments. By pressing this GO2BIOS on MSI mainboard leads you to the BIOS during next system boot-up or restart without any action on user’s part. You can click this button at any time: when the system is turned off, when you are in the BIOS or the operating system has loaded. DirectKey button on the mainboard Asus F2A85-V PRO operates differently. It sort of duplicates the Power On/Off button by adding the automatic BIOS access feature. It's very handy when you boot your system with this button and immediately access the BIOS, however, at the stage of configuring your system often requires a system reboot, rather than power on. Imagine that you made a few changes in the BIOS Setup, noticed a few problems after OS has loaded and want to go back to edit the BIOS settings. In the case of an Asus mainboard you will hit DirectKey button, the system will turn off. Then you power it back on and only after that you get redirected to the BIOS Setup. In other words, there is an additional step - Powering the system on and off, it can be rather inconvenient.

However, the function of the mainboard allows completely avoid DirectKey button and at the same time have no negative experience neither during system configuring nor during regular work. "POST Delay Time" parameter allows delay the start by up to 10s, so most people can manage to hit the Del key within this time to access the BIOS. And those who need more time can prevent the OS from loading until the Esc key is pressed. This allows us to increase the startup delay to our liking for system configuring purposes and lower it to minimum afterwards in order to enjoy the almost momentary boot-up.

In our Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 review, we show that it provides exactly the nominal mode, only the memory is working at the correct frequency of 1333 MHz, but instead of the 9-9-9-24 timings recorded in the modules SPD we saw 9-9-10-24. It may seem strange, but the same is true for Asus F2A85-V PRO mainboard as well. In fact, you can see in the BIOS that the mainboard reads SPD modules completely accurately, but for some reason sets slightly different timings.  However, the differences are minimal and therefore not critical. It could be that both mainboards simply take into consideration some peculiarities of the memory controller in the AMD processors.

For some reason sets slightly different timings.

For some reason sets slightly different timings.

It looks like one of the mainboard’s most obvious and predictable, but not any less upsetting shortcomings is its inability to adjust the rotation speed of the processor fans with three-pin connectors. Our Noctua NH-D14 CPU coolers have two fan and both of them are 3-pin fans. With Gigabyte mainboard we used we used an enclosed Y-splitter to connect the fan and enjoyed our system, which adjusted the fan rotation speeds on its own depending on the operational mode and load type. For Asus mainboard we used a ZM-MC1 adapter that was left from one of the Zalman coolers to connect to 5V plugs and switching to full speed during system overclocking.


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