975X Express Motherboard Round-Up: Foxconn, Abit, and MSI

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Foxconn 975X7AB: Specifications and Bundle

Foxconn has been steadily making inroads in the enthusiast motherboard arena. The company's initial retail offerings had historically been budget solutions, better suited to the OEM space.  But over the last couple of years Foxconn clearly began catering to enthusiasts with some of their products. This fact was most evident in May of '06 when Foxconn partnered with NVIDIA to release the C51XEM2AA-8EKRS2H, a feature laden motherboard based on NVIDIA's reference design for the nForce 590 SLI chipset for the AMD socket AM2 platform.

Foxconn's entrant in this round-up is the 975X7AB-8EKRS2H. As its name implies, the 975X7AB-8EKRS2H is based on Intel's 975X Express chipset. As such, the 975X7AB-8EKRS2H exploits all of the features inherent to the 975X, including full support for CrossFire, Matrix RAID, LGA775 Intel processors, HD audio, and many others.

       

Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H
Features and Specifications

Processor
Intel Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Duo(Conroe), Pentium EE, Pentium D, Pentium 4 processors, Socket T (LGA775)

Chipset
Intel 975X + Intel ICH7R

Front Side Bus
1066 / 800 MHz FSB

Memory
Dual channel DDR2 800 (OC) / 667 /533 x 4 DIMMs, Max 8GB

Expansion Slots
2 x PCIe x16 ( CrossFire compatible )
2 x PCIe x1
2 x PCI

IDE
1 x ATA 133
1 x ATA 100

Serial ATA(SATA)/RAID
5 x Serial ATA II w / RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5

Audio
7.1 channel, Realtek ALC 882 (HDA)

LAN
Dual GbE LAN, Dual Marvell 88E8056 (PCIe)

IEEE1394
2 x 1394a, TI TSB43AB22APDT (one pin header and one rear port)

BIOS Features
FWH 4MB, ACPI 2.0b, APM 1.2, PnP 1.0a, SMBIOS 2.3, USB 2.0

Back Panel I/O Ports
1 set 7.1 channel Audio (6 jacks)
1 x 1394a
1 x PS/2 keyboard
1 x PS/2 mouse
1 x parallel
1 x External SATA
4 x USB 2.0
2 x RJ45
1 x S/PDIF Coaxial out
1 x S/PDIF Fibre out

Internal I/O Connectors
2 x USB 2.0 headers support 4 ports
1 x Front audio header
1 x S/PDIF out header
1 x IrDA header
1 x CD-IN header
1 x AUX-IN header
1 x Front panel header
1 x Buzzer
1 x COM2
1 x IEEE 1394a
1 x speaker

Support CD
Drivers, DirectX, Adobe Reader, Super Utility, Norton Internet Security

Standards/Manageability
PCI 2.3, USB2.0, DMI 2.0

Special Features
SuperRecovery, SuperBoot, SuperBIOS-Protect, SuperStep, Fox Live Update, Ratio Free, Fox Intelligent Stepping, Fox One

Form Factor
ATX (12" x 9.6")


      

Foxconn ships the 975X7AB-8EKRS2H with a decent assortment of bundled accessories. In the box, we found a quick installation poster, a complete user's manual, and a driver and utility CD that includes Norton Internet Security and Foxconn's Fox One utility. Fox One is a proprietary app that gives user's the ability to monitor and modify performance-related settings like the CPU frequency, voltages, and fan speeds from within Windows, similar to but somewhat more limited than NVIDIA' nTune utility. Along with the items we've already mentioned, the 975X7AB-8EKRS2H also includes four black SATA cables, two rounded IDE cables, a rounded floppy cable, two 4-Pin Molex to Dual-SATA power adapters, and a custom, color coded I/O shield. There were also three case brackets included in the package, one with four USB 2.0 ports, another with a pair of Firewire ports, and the last with a single 9-pin serial port.


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