Foxconn 875A026EKRS Motherboard - HotHardware

Foxconn 875A026EKRS Motherboard

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Foxconn's 875A02-6EKRS Motherboard
A New Motherboard From a Not-So-Familiar Face

By: Jeff Bouton
April 5, 2004


While computer enthusiasts may not have Foxconn on their "short list" of favorite motherboard brands, chances are they have some Foxconn parts in their rig and just don't know it.  For several years, Foxconn has been a driving force in the computer industry, manufacturing a wide range of computer components for various OEM's, including motherboards, computer cases and electronic connectors.  And while they may not be as well known as some other manufacturers, there is a good chance you have a Foxconn component in your machine right now.

Recently, Foxconn decided to take their years of experience and branch further into the commercial market by offering their own branded versions of popular computer components.  Their latest offering is the 875A02-6EKRS motherboard based on the Intel i875 "Canterwood" chipset.  With the extensive connections Foxconn has in the PC market, making the jump to their own branded models seems like a logical next step.  The only question is whether or not Foxconn would bring any compelling changes to a very competitive market, that would persuade potential buyers to consider them an alternative to the mainstream...

Features of the Foxconn 875A02-6EKRS Motherboard
A Familiar Feature Set

Size
ATX form factor of 12?x9.6?

Processor
Supports Intel® Pentium®4 Socket 478 (Willamette/Northwood/Prescott) processors
Supports Intel® Celeron® Socket 478 (Willamette/Northwood) processors
Supports FSB at 400MHz/533MHz/800MHz
Supports Hyper-Threading technology

Chipset
Intel® Chipset: Intel® 875P (Northbridge) +ICH5R (Southbridge)

System Memory
Provides four 184-pin DDR DIMM Sockets
Supports for ECC (Error Checking and Correcting) and non-ECC memory
Supports for PC3200/2700/2100
Supports for 128/256/512Mb/1GB technology up to 4GB
Supports Dual-channel DDR

Onboard Serial ATA
150MBps transfer rate
Supports four S-ATA devices, such as HDD, etc.
Supports Raid 0, Raid 1 (SATA1/2 supported by ICH5R (
Southbridge), SATA3/4 supported by Silicon 3112A Raid controller)

USB 2.0 Port
Supports hot-plug
Eight USB 2.0 ports (four rear panel ports, two onboard USB headers providing four extra ports)
Supports wake-up from S1 and S3 mode
Supports USB 2.0 Protocol up to 480Mbps transmission rate

Onboard 1394 (Optional):  IEEE1394
Supports hot-plug
With rate of transmission at 400Mbps
Self-configured addressing
Supports two independent 1394 units (1 rear, 1 front) synchronously at most, such as HDD, CD-ROM

Onboard LAN (Optional)
LAN interface built-in on board
10M/100M/1G LAN interface

Onboard Audio
AC? 97 2.2 Specification Compliant
Supports S/PDIF output
Onboard Line-in jack, Microphone-in jack, Line-out jack
Supports 5.1 channels audio (setting via software) 

Click Image for a Larger View

BIOS
Licensed advanced AWARD (Phoenix) BIOS, supports flash ROM, Plug-and-Play
Supports IDE CD-ROM, SCSI HDD or USB device boot up

Green Function
Supports ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface)
Supports five system modes-SO (normal), S1 (power on suspend), S3 (suspend to RAM), S4 (suspend to disk-depends on OS), and S5 (soft-off)

Expansion Slots
5 PCI slots
1 AGP slot

AGP 8X support
AGP 8X (AGP 3.0) is the VGA interface specification that enabled enhanced graphics performance with high bandwidth speeds up to 2.12 GB/s.

Advanced Features
PCI 2.3 Specification Compliant
Supports Windows98/2000/ME/XP soft-off
Supports Wake-on-LAN function
Supports PC Health function (capable of monitoring system voltage, CPU, system temperature, and fan speed)

Intel® Performance Acceleration Technology (PAT)
The Intel® Performance Acceleration Technology deliver additional system- level performance by optimizing memory access between CPU and system memory on 800-MHz FSB and Dual Channel DDR400 configuration.



The Bundle:

Foxconn may be a veteran in the manufacturing of computer components, but developing commercial bundles is somewhat new territory for them.  Nonetheless, the packaging of the 875A02-6EKRS was as polished and complete as we've seen.  The outer box had a clean, easy to read layout listing all of the board's major features.  Inside, we found a healthy compliment of additional hardware and documentation.  Foxconn included an easy to read User's Manual that thoroughly covered all facets of this motherboard, from its features to its installation and configuration.  It was refreshing to see a clear, concise User's Manual, after seeing a slew of poorly translated manuals recently.  We often find that user manuals were written in another language and then directly translated to English, with little tweaking beyond that.  This can make the documentation a bit more difficult to understand, which is a potential problem for the less experienced user.  With Foxconn's manual, the layout is intelligent, almost resembling that of a text book, broken down into chapters with clearly stated topics.

 

 

Along with a User's Manual for the motherboard and SATA RAID controllers, a quick reference diagram was included to help easily identify the board's various components.  Additionally, two floppy disks were provided with drivers for both of the board's SATA RAID controllers.  The Motherboard Installation CD included drivers for all of the board's components as well as copies of Adobe Acrobat, Norton Internet Security 2004 and Foxconn's own SuperUtility.  SuperUtility consists of 3 modules, SuperStep for overclocking, SuperLogo for customizing the board's boot image, and SuperUpdate which can backup and update the system BIOS from within Windows.

   

SuperStep was a simple, yet effective utility that offered a window showing the status of the board's inner workings.  We could monitor and set limits for fan speeds and voltages, and could also raise the bus speed on the fly.  SuperLogo allowed an easy way to change the boot image to a BMP or JPG of your choice, letting users personalize their system a bit.  Lastly, SuperUpdate offers a one stop spot to check, download and apply the latest BIOS available for the motherboard.

Clearly, the Foxconn 875A02 comes with a decent bundle that adds to the overall experience of the product.  The company paid close attention to detail, most specifically with the documentation, while providing a good collection of additional hardware and software.  Next we'll get better acquainted with the motherboard itself.

 

The Board and The BIOS

 

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