Let’s now check out the lower part of the Foxconn ELA PCB.
We have already discussed numerous expansion slots and the additional IDT controller between them. If you install three contemporary graphics cards of large size, they will cover almost half of the mainboard PCB. Therefore, all connectors on the right-hand side of the PCB are positioned horizontally for your convenience:
The heatsink on the chipset South Bridge cannot be very big for the same exact reason. However, they could have made it a few millimeters taller instead of topping it with an embossed Digital Life logo sticker. Intel ICH10R chip warms up quite noticeably under load.
As for the advantages, we should definitely mention that all connectors are color-coded, there is a two-digit POST code indicator, Power On, Reset and Clear CMOS buttons. The buttons are quite far from one another and are marked with illustrative logos that are highlighted when the system is on. So, you are very unlikely to hit the wrong one by accident. We could also consider the integrated PC-speaker an advantage, if there were a possibility to disable it in the BIOS or with a jumper. Right now you will have to put up with loud annoying beeping every time you turn on the system. As for the drawbacks, I have to mention the location of the FDD connector, although it is not a serious issue these days.
The connector panel also looks far from traditional. There is a PS/2 port for the mouse, however there are two USB ports instead of a second identical PS/2 port for the keyboard. The mainboard has 6 UZSB ports altogether. You can add two more ports by using the enclosed bracket, which also has an IEEE1394 port. All three FireWire ports are implemented using VIA VT6306 controller.
The optical and coaxial S/PDIF and six audio-jacks are implemented via an 8-channel Realtek ALC888SDD codec. Gigabit network is provided by Realtek RTL8111C controller. The additional JMicron JMB363 controller delivers two eSATA and one Parallel ATA ports supporting two devices.
The mainboard manual doesn’t have the traditional schematics of the PCB layout with all the major components location, but you may like the layout photo much better, in fact. All the components on this photo have been enumerated and clarified for your convenience.
We haven’t yet mentioned the FSBSEL1 Connector jumper set located a little above the first graphics card slot. These jumpers allow changing the initial system bus frequency. The board has five fan connectors, two of which can accommodate 4-pin ones. The mainboard was built with solid state capacitors with polymer electrolyte.
In conclusion to our Foxconn ELA exterior design and layout discussion, let’s check out its detailed specifications summed up in the table below: