The Board: Up Close & Personal
Foxconn has done a fairly good job with the 925A01-8EKRS2's component placement and overall layout. It's built upon an attractive dark-blue PCB, with color-coded headers, connectors and slots. And with the exception of the 4-Pin 12V power connector, which is located between the rear connector panel and the Northbridge, and one of the internal firewire headers that's located between PCI X1 slots two and three, there are no other layout issues to speak of.
Mounted atop the i925x Northbridge is a behemoth passive aluminum heatsink, that does a good job of keeping the chip cool provided ventilation is adequate. During extended overclocking sessions, it was barely warm to the touch. The heatsink Foxconn uses on the 925A01 is much larger than anything we have seen so far from third party manufactures, including Abit and Asus. Only Intel built boards seem to ship with a more substantial Northbridge heatsink. Mounted just behind the four DDR2 DIMM slots (4GB max), is the 24-Pin ATX power connector, the floppy connector, and a lone 40-Pin IDE connector. Travel a bit further down the board and you'll find the Southbridge, along with 4 SATA connectors, and a cluster of jumpers / headers for additional USB ports, clearing the CMOS, case connectors, front audio connectors, etc.
The Foxconn 925A01-8EKRS2 is also equipped with a versatile slot configuration that should allow for plenty of expansion, especially considering all of the goodies already incorporated onto the board. Along with the single PCI Express X16 slot are three PCI Express X1 slots and two standard PCI slots. Because Foxconn has outfitted this board with a plethora of integrated features, the rear I/O panel is loaded with assorted connectors. It has dual PS/2 connectors (keyboard and mouse), four USB 2.0 connectors, a single IEEE-1394 firewire connector (VIA controller), one parallel and two serial ports, an RJ-45 Ethernet connector and 6 assorted 1/8" audio connectors. The Ethernet connector interfaces with a Realtek 10/100/1000 controller, and the audio connectors, also powered by a Realtek chip, will allow users to take full advantage of the 925A01-8EKRS2's integrated 7.1 channel Intel High Definition audio capabilities.
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