Foxconn 925XE7AA-8EKRS2 i925XE Motherboard

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Until Intel's next-generation chipsets arrive, with support for upcoming multi-core processors, the 925X and 925XE will remain the flagship chipsets for LGA775 based Pentium 4 processors.  The 925X and XE are very similar, as Dave pointed out in his introduction to the P4 EE 3.46GHz last October.  When we compare the 925X and 925XE, the main difference between the two is that the XE officially supports a system bus of 1066MHz versus the 925X's official peak of 800MHz.  This brings full support for the current flagship Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor, which taps the 1066MHz bus, and potential support for future processors from Intel that will utilize this faster bus speed as well.

Today, we are going to review the Foxconn 925XE7AA-8EKRS2 motherboard, which is built with the 925XE at its core.  This board offers all of the features that are integrated into the i925XE, plus a few Foxconn specific features of its own.  First, we'll start by getting familiar with the system specifications and retail package, then we'll take a closer look at the board itself...

Specifications of the Foxconn 925XE7AA-8EKRS2 i925XE Motherboard
Packed to the Brim
Processor
Intel
Pentium 4, Socket 775, 800/1000MHz FSB
Fully supports Intel "Prescott" processors
Intel Hyper-Threading Technology supported

Chipset
Intel 925XE Express + ICH6R

Memory
Dual channel, unbuffered, 1.8V DDR2-400/533 w/ or w/o ECC; (4) 240-pin DIMM sockets, max 4GB
Supports Intel Performance Acceleration Technology (PAT)

Graphics
Discrete (non-integrated) - use expansion slot

Expansion Slots
1 x PCI Express x16

3 x PCI Express x1
3 x PCI

IDE
1 x ATA/100

2 x ATA/133 (w/ RAID)
8 x SATA/150 (w/ RAID)

Audio
Integrated, 7.1 channel High Definition, including front audio and S/PDIF headers (Realtek)

LAN
Dual integrated Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000) controllers, dual ports

IEEE-1394
3 via internal headers + rear cable/bracket assembly (1 x 1394b + 1 x 1394a 4-pin + 1 x 1394a 6-pin)

Rear Panel
1 x PS/2 keyboard
1 x PS/2 mouse
2 x RJ45 (LAN)
4 x USB 2.0
1 x line-in/line-out/mic (audio)
Additional line-out for 7.1 channel High Definition audio
1 x coax S/PDIF
1 x parallel (SPP/ECP/EPP)
1 x COM (16550-compatible UART)
1 x IEEE-1394
Internal
1 x floppy disk drive
2 x USB 2.0 headers (supports 4 ports)
2 x IEEE-1394 headers
Front audio header
1 x S/PDIF (coax out) header

BIOS
8Mb flash EEPROM w/ LAN boot, PnP, ACPI, WfM, DMI 2.0

Features
Wake-on-LAN (WOL)
suspend-to-RAM (STR)
suspend-to-disk (STD)
SuperUtilities - SuperBoot, SuperBIOS-Protect, SuperRecovery, SuperSpeed, SuperStep, SuperLogo, and SuperUpdate

Accessories
Support CD
user's manual (or installation guide)
rear I/O shield
1 x floppy drive cable
1 x HDD/ODD drive cable (supports UDMA/ATA 33/66/100/133 drives)
RAID driver on floppy disk(s), 8 x SATA data cables
4 x SATA power cable (each supports 2 drives)
2 extra HDD/ODD drive cables (each supports UDMA/ATA 33/66/100/133 drives)
Non-SATA drive cables are round and sheathed at the connectors
Rear cable/bracket assembly w/ 4 x USB 2.0 ports
Rear cable/bracket assembly w/ 1 x coax-out, S/PDIF connector
Rear cable/bracket assembly w/ 1 x 4-pin + 1 x 6-pin IEEE-1394 connectors

Form Factor
ATX, 12.0" x 9.6" or less - see User Manual

Looking at the Foxconn 925XE7AA-8EKRS2's retail package, we see that the general theme is "black".  Virtually everything about the product is black, from the box, to the user's guide, setup CD and the plethora of cabling included in the package. 

The bundle came with both a User's Manual and RAID User Guide as well as the necessary Setup CD and RAID driver floppy disks.  The documentation is a strong point with Foxconn, with both guides presenting their information clearly and succinctly. 

  

Another strong point for the 925XE7AA-8EKRS2 is in Foxconn's inclusion of enough cabling to fill every single drive connection on the board.  This includes eight SATA cables, three rounded IDE cables and a single rounded Floppy cable.  With the potential to connect eight SATA drives, Foxconn includes four Molex to SATA Y-adapters that can feed a total of eight SATA components with four standard Molex power leads.  Also included in the bundle was an I/O Shield, four port USB bracket, two port IEEE1394 bracket and a S/PDIF bracket.

Overall, Foxconn provided a complete bundle, with an excellent collection of additional cabling not typically offered by most manufactures.  Usually, we see packages come with two IDE and two or three SATA cables, but rarely do we find so many cables included with a motherboard.  This gave the impression of a "complete" package that covers all of the potential bases a user may need. 

Tags:  Motherboard, foxconn, fox, A-8, s2, AA, board, XE7, AR, K

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