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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.30.04]
Manufactured by: Abit, DFI, Foxconn, Gigabyte


Foxconn 925A01-8EKRS

Foxconn went with a shiny design with their new products (take a look at our first Foxconn board review, and you'll see that this is a major improvement). In case you were wondering if Foxconn was a registered trademark, they make the (R) bigger than the logo itself ;)

Out of all the boards we're looking at in this article, well... I'll let you decide on whether you like the looks. Foxconn does get points for including the most colours on a single product though!

Like most of the other boards, Foxconn went with a 3/2 PCI-E/PCI count. The USB headers are mixed in with all the PCI slots, although they are reasonably placed. The FireWire port however is almost at the center of the board, and right next to a PCI-E slot.

Here you can see that the IR header is tucked away nicely at the bottom. When was the last time you used this? Never? I wish they would have switched it with the FireWire header. The front panel connector is at the bottom corner as well, which is nice. However they are not colour coded. The use of thumb-jumpers for the CMOS clear switch is a nice touch.

The area aroudn the memory slots fares much better, as all the ports are lined up along the edge of the board, with the floppy connector out of the way. Unfortunately the 2x2 P4 connector is poorly placed, below the CPU. You'll have to route that 4 pin cable across the board, making for a sloppy install.

Ugh! Where did all those COM ports come from? We saw Abit include one port, making room for a pair of SPDIF ports. We saw DFI use NONE, opting instead to include a PCI bracket with a COM port for the very few who will use it. This made room for their SPDIF ports and robust audio connector. Foxconn seems to be going backwards, including a pair of COM ports on the rear panel, and a bracket with a single SPDIF out on it.

Their Gigabit Ethernet is a Realtek PCI solution, which does not allow for full use of bandwidth made capable by GigaE (think of it as being 'halfagigabit ethernet' when on the PCI bus).

And that about does it for the Foxconn. Like Abit, Foxconn is very stingy with the accessories, only including bare essentials in the box. That said, you do get absolutely everything you need to get going (IDE cable, floppy, all USB brackets, etc). This is a big improvement from Foxconn's early retail motherboard efforts.

Next Page: (Board Overview - Gigabyte GA-8ANXP-D)