The presence of Foxconn Company is not that big in the today’s retail mainboard market. However, they do not have any intention of leaving and keep rolling out some very interesting products from time to time. Foxconn H67S is a great example of a product like that. This Mini-ITX LGA1155 mainboard stands out among other today’s testing participants due to its simplicity. Almost all of its features and functions are provided by the Intel H67 chipset and as for the additional controllers it only has a Gigabit network Realtek RTL8111E controller and an eight-channel Realtek ALC888S audio codec.
Foxconn engineers’ approach is definitely quite justified. And whether Foxconn H67S is a success or a waste depends solely on your overall goal. On the one hand, this mainboard doesn’t have many useful functions, such the USB 3.0 support, for example. But on the other hand, there is always a benefit to simplicity such as low price and lower power consumption than that of more complex solutions.
As for the key features of Foxconn H67S, everything here is in perfect order. The chipset functionality is revealed to the utmost level allowed by the Mini-ITX platform form-factor. The board supports all LGA1155 processors without any exceptions, has a PCI Express x16 slot and a pair of DIMM slots for dual-channel DDR3 SDRAM. However, they did put out fewer SATA ports: there are only three, and two of them support 6 Gbps interface. Although, I don’t think you will ever need more of those if you are building an HTPC or a miniature home system, and as for a min0-server, there are a few other reasons why Foxconn H67S cannot be used for this purpose.
Since Foxconn decided not to integrate any extra controllers onto their mini-mainboard, we didn’t expect to see anything out-of-the-ordinary on the Foxconn H67S back panel. However, what we saw was even less than we had expected to see. For some reasons, there is no analogue D-Sub out. So, you can only connect monitors via DVI or HDMI interface. It would seem logical in this case to see at least some kind of DVI-to-D-Sub adapter among the bundled accessories, but Foxconn didn’t do this. There are six USB 2.0 ports on the back panel. Besides, there is also one PS/2 keyboard connector, eSATA interface, six analogue audio-jacks and a network port.
Even if we assume that limited functionality is one of the weaknesses of the Foxconn H67S mainboard, then its PCB design definitely deserves a few compliments. The developers decided not to go with the reference components layout and moved the processor socket away from the PCI Express x16 slot and placed the chipset between them. As a result, there is additional free space in the around-the-processor area, which will allow using relatively large processor coolers with this Mini-ITX mainboard. For example, it is one of the few mainboards that can easily accommodate Scythe Big Shuriken CPU cooler even with a discrete graphics accelerator.
Nevertheless, it may be pretty difficult to build a quiet system on Foxconn H67S. The thing is that the rotation speed adjustment for the fans connected to this mainboard doesn’t work too well. There are two four-pin connectors on the board. The rotation speed of the fans connected to them may change, but there is no way to set the conditions for this change. And the default algorithm speeds up the fans too aggressively.
The chipset is cooled with a small heatsink fastened using plastic retention. It is not a very efficient solution, but the three-phase processor voltage regulator doesn’t have even that. So, the board does have very good reasons to speed up those fans rapidly.
The accessories bundled with the Foxconn H67S mainboard are just as modest as its features. It comes with a user manual, disk with the drivers, I/O Shield for the back panel and two SATA cables.
The BIOS of Foxconn H67S mainboard gives us another reason to criticize it. There is no graphics interface of any kind, but most importantly, the configuring options are extremely scarce. Namely, there is absolutely nothing for CPU overclocking or downclocking.
There are no options for adjustment of voltages and BCLK frequency, and the processor multiplier is locked both ways. The graphics core cannot be overclocked at all. There are no options for memory configuring: the board doesn’t allow adjusting the timings or changing the DDR3 frequency. Besides, Foxconn H67S doesn’t support memory modules with voltages other than the default 1.5 V.