Articles: Mainboards
 

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Intel’s platform has undergone a series of changes recently like transition to a 64-bit architecture and dual-core processors with appropriate new chipsets, yet older, 5xx processors are viable still. Moreover, following the market laws they have become even more affordable. And if there’s demand for processors, there is also demand for appropriate mainboards.

One such mainboard has come to our test lab. It is the high-end 925XE7AA model from Foxconn. Let me get down to business right away by showing you its specification.


Specification

Here are the basic characteristics of the reviewed mainboard:

Foxconn 925XE7AA

CPU

LGA775 Pentium4 800/1066MHz

Chipset

82925XE Express North Bridge
ICH6R South Bridge

FSB frequency

200-260MHz with 1MHz increment

Memory

4 DDR DIMM slots for DDR2 400/533 SDRAM

Graphics card slot

PCI Express x16

PCI Express slots

1 x PCI Express x16
2 x PCI Express x1

PCI expansion slots

3 x PCI
3 x PXI Express x1

USB 2.0 ports

8 USB 2.0 ports

IEEE1394 ports

3 100/200/400 Mbit/s ports

Back panel connectors

1 x PS/2 keyboard
1 x PS/2 mouse
2 x RJ45 (Gigabit Etherenet LAN)
8 x USB 2.0
6 x HD Audio I/O
1 x parallel (SPP/ECP/EPP)
1 x COM
Additional line-outs for 7.1 channel audio
3 x IEEE1394b
2 x S/PDIF (coax out)
1xFDD

ATA-100/133

1 x ATA100
2 x ATA133

Serial ATA-150

8

BIOS

Phoenix-Award BIOS v6.0PG
8Mb flash EEPROM w/ LAN boot,
PnP, ACPI, WfM, DMI 2.0

IDE RAID support

RAID 0, 1, 0+1
Intel Matrix Storage Technology

Overclocking friendly features in the BIOS

SuperSpeed Technology

Form-factor

ATX, 12” x 9.6”

A heap of various brackets and cables are enclosed with the mainboard. I found the following in the box:

  • Foxconn 925XE7AA mainboard
  • CD with drivers
  • Three ATA-100 cables and one FDD cable
  • Eight Serial ATA cables and four power adapters (with two connectors on each)
  • User’s manual
  • User’s manual on building and configuring RAID arrays
  • Bracket with two FireWire ports
  • Bracket with four USB 2.0 ports
  • I/O shield
  • Three diskettes with drivers for the mainboard’s RAID controllers

So, there’s everything you may need, and my only gripe was about the quality of the ATA-100 and FDD cables. They are made as separate wires in rubber pipes, the so-called aerodynamic version. But the rubber casing is thick, so the cables are too stiff. Moreover, one connector just collapsed in my fingers when I was mounting hard drives. I tend to believe that I just had bad luck having got a defective connector, because Foxconn has always provided excellent accessory quality. Anyway, I hope Foxconn will pay more attention to the quality of accessories they include with their mainboards. I have no complaints other than that one.

 
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