Foxconn A7DA-S 790GX Reviewajmatson - September 7, 2008
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What else can I say about the Foxconn A7DA-S motherboard but wow!!! This thing is an absolute monster. Even though a lot of the tests were dead on while running stock, when this puppy was overclocked there was no holding it back. I was able to achieve the highest overclock that I have ever gotten on this Phenom X4 9850 Black Box Edition chip. Not until now have I been able to break 3.0GHz, which was frustrating because I always came close but never quite got there. I am simply amazed at how easy and stable it was to get it that high. Also, the Sideport Memory is the most amazing technology I have seen on a motherboard in a long time. The addition of this additional onboard buffer gives the Foxconn A7DA-S motherboard an average 11% boost over using the UMA buffer alone. The extra boost gave an impressive 3DMark06 score at the default resolution of 1280x1024, breaking 2,000 marks, which is a first for an Integrated Graphics chip. Given all of the new support at a very low price, this makes the Foxconn A7DA-S the best bang for the buck amongst mainstream motherboards with integrated video. Even if you never use the IGP, you will never be left wanting more with this platform.
The only faults I could find with the A7DA-S is that the Northbridge, even with the heatpipe design, gets very, very hot, especially when using the onboard video. I had to place an additional fan over the heatsink even when running stock. When running dual discrete cards on the 790GX, the PCI Express x16 slots operate at x8 electrically instead of at full x16/x16; however, since they are PCI Express 2.0, the bandwidth increase will make up for the downfall and you should not notice any difference. Lastly, I am a USB hog, so only having four USB 2.0 ports on the back panel was a bummer for me. Foxconn makes up for this by having four more USB 2.0 headers on the board for up to eight more ports, but there are no brackets supplied with the board so you have to get your own or hook them up to a case's front ports for use.
- Onboard DDR3 Sideport Memory for Integrated Graphics
- Inexpensive platform with great potential
- Fastest IGP solution available on the market to date
- CrossFireX capable
- Supports latest 140w processor
- 100% solid capacitor/Ferrite Choke design for long life and stability
- Great at overclocking with plenty of headroom
- Northbridge gets very hot very quickly
- Limited USB ports on back panel (personal preference)