Since the launch of the A8 and A6 series of APUs from AMD, the motherboards we've looked at have revolved around the A75 chipset. It's a great chipset, offering some great features like SATA III and USB 3.0 support. It seemed like everyone had forgotten about the A55 series chipset, though, which launched at exactly the same time.
Little differs between the two chipsets with the most obvious being that the A55 lacks both SATA III support and USB 3.0 support; instead it opts for only SATA II and USB 2.0 support. But what if you don't have any intention of using a SATA III drive and don't have any USB 3.0 devices? What if instead you want to save some money?
In steps the A55 chipset and in this case, in steps GIGABYTE with the A55M-S2V. Sure, we use a SATA III drive for our tests and we use USB 3.0, but those technologies are both backwards compatible.
So with everything at hand today we'll check out what the A55 based motherboard is all about. We won't go into the details of the actual chipset itself, because we've covered that in great detail in our original AMD A8-3850 (Llano) APU and A55/A75 Chipset Review launch article. If you can't be bothered reading that, well, we've explained the main two differences here already, so we can just get into what's going on with the GIGABYTE A55M-S2V here today.
Before we get into the performance side of things, though, the first thing we need to do is check out the package. Once that's done we'll take a closer look at the motherboard itself before getting into the BIOS which will lead us into the overclocking side of things.
Once we've done all that it's time to get into the fun stuff and see just what kind of performance we've got on offer here while also checking out how it compares to a pair of A75 boards we've recently tested.
While the box indeed looks small and square, we are dealing with a mATX board here today and not a mITX. The box itself is just typical GIGABYTE with the model on the front and some of the main features, while the back expands on some of the main features a little more and shows us the board itself.
Moving inside, we've got a pretty light bundle with a user manual, driver CD, two SATA cables and our rear I/O panel. Not much at all and a fairly standard bundle for a more budget orientated board.