Asus A88X-Pro Schematic Circuit Diagram (BoardView)

Asus A88X-Pro Schematic Circuit Diagram (BoardView)

Asus A88X-Pro Motherboard

Asus A88X-Pro Overview

The Asus A88X-Pro release is March 2014. As we indicated in our previous FM2+ analysis, AMD platform innovation has slowed. Team Blue's performance implies that they get the first crack at something fantastic from motherboard manufacturers, whereas AMD only gets something if the additional R&D costs are small. This is what turns an AMD system into a powerhouse in terms of price/performance over feature set. We may never see the ROG series' OC features on an AMD motherboard again unless AMD develops a future performance platform.

ASUS has carried over some Intel-based hardware component choices and software enhancements. A digital power supply implementation is included in the A88X-Pro, as well as Dual Intelligent Processors IV (DIP4) for power saving and turbo implementations. USB BIOS Flashback, MemOK, DirectKey, and better audio are all carried over.

The primary issue with Kaveri that we've seen in our motherboard reviews so far is that it can't keep a system stable at stock frequencies under certain consumer and enterprise workloads (video editing, 3D mapping). The A88X-Pro spends a little more on power delivery and heatsink orientation, with R68 chokes and a connection between the CPU and the chipset for increased heat dissipation.

During our Photoscan test, the forced reboot issue that we've experienced on previous A88X motherboards appeared on the A88X-Pro, which was only solved by adding an extra fan to the power delivery. I sent this information to ASUS along with the test, and they have been unable to reproduce the problem that I have repeatedly demonstrated. My AMD review CPU, according to ASUS, comes from an initial batch of A10-7850Ks that may have higher-than-retail leakage issues. We're looking into it more right now.

Putting that aside (as we have in previous evaluations), the A88X-Pro is built to be the pinnacle of FM2+ motherboard implementations. The performance is superior to that of the majority of the other FM2+ motherboards we've evaluated. A Realtek ALC1150 audio codec, five fan headers, a two-digit debug readout, two eSATA 6 Gbps connections, six USB 3.0 ports, a quartet of IGP video outputs, and compatibility for up to 64GB of DRAM are among the features carried over from the enthusiast platforms described above (when those 16GB modules are released).

The ASUS A88X-Pro appears to perform differently than the other A88X motherboards we've tested in terms of performance – turbo modes appear to run longer and have a clear impact on benchmarks. As a result, as compared to other A88X reviews, the A88X-Pro hits the high notes when paired with the A10-7850K in practically all of our testing. The audio system also achieves some of the finest Dynamic Range and Noise ratings of any motherboard previously evaluated.

The ASUS Z87 graphical BIOS is used, which includes features like Last-Modified and My Favorites. The software stack revolves around AI Suite 3 with Dual Intelligent Processors 4 option, USB 3.0 boost, USB BIOS Flashbook, quick charging options, fan controls, and power-saving modes flanked by USB 3.0 boost, USB BIOS Flashbook, quick charging options, fan controls, and power-saving modes.

In comparison to the $63 MSI motherboard we reviewed earlier at, the ASUS motherboard costs nearly twice as much but offers better performance, more features (DIP4, four DIMM slots, Realtek ALC1150), and a more sophisticated BIOS and software bundle. It's up to the reader to decide whether the A88X-Pro is worth twice, although ASUS is targeting the motherboard at the upper end.

Asus A88X-Pro Motherboard PCB Inspection

Air coolers provide lots of room in the socket area in all directions. Although the heat pipe to the socket's bottom is close, it is flush with the PCB to avoid getting in the way. Three fan headers are immediately accessible in the socket area: two four-pin headers to the bottom left of the power delivery heatsink and a four-pin header to the right of the USB 3.0 connector. On the motherboard, there are two additional fan headers, one four-pin below the SATA ports and the other next to the COM header at the bottom.

The top of the motherboard appears to be highly crowded in terms of components, and the DRAM slots are slightly lower (a couple of mm) than usual. Unless a particularly big PCIe x1 card is utilized, this has no effect on PCIe lane allocation. A double-sided latch mechanism is used in the DRAM slots.

An EPU switch is located at the top of the motherboard and is used to automatically enable energy-saving improvements during boot. This is the sister to the TPU switch on the motherboard's bottom, which allows for a comparable overclock. In addition to these two switches, ASUS has a number of buttons on the board. The MemOK button on the top right allows memory overclockers to recover the system if the memory settings are too high. The BIOS Flashback button is located below this, adjacent to the SATA connectors, and allows users to update the BIOS using a USB stick without a CPU, DRAM, or GPU. The final button, DirectKey, is located above the TPU switch. When this button is hit when the machine is turned off, the system will reboot into the BIOS.

The USB 3.0 header, powered by the chipset, is located on the right side of the motherboard. Below this is a fan header, one of the aforementioned buttons, and the six gold/mustard yellow SATA 6 Gbps connections. ASUS included six SATA 6 Gbps connections on the front panel, with two more on the back panel as eSATA ports, thanks to the A88X chipset. They're all powered by the chipset, which keeps the system cool by using a heatsink that's attached to the power supply.

Our front panel headers, four USB 2.0 headers, two-digit debug, COM port, fan header, and front panel audio header are all located on the bottom of the motherboard. Despite being the top-of-the-line A88X motherboard, there are no power or reset buttons, although there is a two-digit debug. When the system is in the OS, the DirectKey button on the bottom row almost behaves like both.

The PCIe configuration is color-coded in an unusual way. The first two x16 sized slots on the ASUS motherboard enable full-sized PCIe devices in an x16 and x8/x8 arrangement, but they are of different colors. The final slot is a PCIe 2.0 x4 slot from the chipset, however, it has the same color scheme as the PCIe 3.0 x8 slot. The major GPU-capable slots are usually all the same color. The only reason this arrangement makes sense to me is for NVIDIA GPUs, which cannot be used in SLI on the A88X platform.

A combo PS/2 port, two USB 2.0 ports, DisplayPort, HDMI, VGA, DVI-D, two eSATA 6 Gbps ports, two USB 3.0 ports from the chipset, two USB 3.0 ports from an ASMedia controller, a gigabit Ethernet port from a Realtek controller, and finally audio jacks from a Realtek ALC1150 audio codec are all found on the back panel.

Asus A88X-Pro Compatible Processors

Asus A88X-Pro is supported or compatible with multiple processors of the AMD series. I will provide all the processors model below:

AMD A10 PRO-8850B, AMD A10-5700, AMD A10-5800B, AMD A10-5800K, AMD A10-6700, AMD A10-6700T, AMD A10-6790B, AMD A10-6790K, AMD A10-6800B, AMD A10-6800K, AMD A10-7700K, AMD A10-7800, AMD A10-7800B, AMD A10-7850B, AMD A10-7850K, AMD A10-7860K, AMD A10-7870K, AMD A10-7890K, AMD A4-4000, AMD A4-4020, AMD A4-5300, AMD A4-5300B, AMD A4-6300, AMD A4-6300B, AMD A4-6320, AMD A4-7300, AMD A4-7300B, AMD A6-5400B, AMD A6-5400K, AMD A6-6400B, AMD A6-6400K, AMD A6-6420K, AMD A6-7400B, AMD A6-7400K, AMD A6-7470K, AMD A6-8550, AMD A8-5500, AMD A8-5500B, AMD A8-5600K, AMD A8-6500, AMD A8-6500B, AMD A8-6500T, AMD A8-6600K, AMD A8-7600, AMD A8-7600B, AMD A8-7650K, AMD A8-7670K, AMD A8-7690K, AMD A8-8650, AMD Athlon X2 340, AMD AthlonX2 350, AMD AthlonX2 370K, AMD AthlonX2 450, AMD AthlonX4 730, AMD AthlonX4 740, AMD AthlonX4 750, AMD AthlonX4 750K, AMD AthlonX4 760K, AMD AthlonX4 835, AMD AthlonX4 840, AMD AthlonX4 845, AMD AthlonX4 850, AMD AthlonX4 860K, AMD AthlonX4 870K, AMD AthlonX4 880K, AMD Sempron 250.

Asus A88X-Pro Specs

Asus A88X-Pro Specification
Model A88X-Pro
Socket FM2+
Chipset AMD A88X (Bolton D4)
Supported Memory 4 DDR3 DIMM slots supporting up to 64 GB Up to Dual Channel, 1333-2400 MHz
Video Resolution HDMI, 4960x2160 pixel with 24 Hz or 1920x1200 pixel with 60 Hz
D-Sub, 1920x1600 pixel with 60 Hz
DVI-D, 2560x1600 pixel with 60 Hz
DisplayPort, 4096x2160 pixel with 60 Hz
LAN Chipset Realtek 8111GR
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC1150
IO Panel 1 PS/2 Combination Port
1 D-Sub Port
1 DVI-D Port
1 HDMI Port
1 VGA Port
2 x eSATA 6 Gbps
4 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 Realtek NIC
1 Optical SPDIF Output
Audio Jacks
Fan Headers 1 x CPU (4-pin)
4 x CHA (4-pin)
USB 3.0 4 x USB 3.0 (Chipset) 2 back panel, 2 via header
2 x USB 3.0 (ASMedia ASM1042) 2 back panel

Asus A88X-Pro Price

Motherboards come in a wide range of prices. While performance platforms are more expensive, those with strong integrated graphics performance are much less so. In fact, it seems unusual to buy a typical AMD motherboard for more than $150 in 2014. The ASUS A88X-Pro, for example, is the top of ASUS' AMD product stack and costs only $124.

Asus A88X-Pro Schematic Circuit Diagram (BoardView)

Free Download Asus A88X-Pro Schematic Circuit Diagram (BoardView)

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