Foxconn is one of the largest computer component manufacturers in the world. The company has been a long-time provider of components to motherboard manufacturers, OEMs and ODMs. Foxconn makes just about every component under the sun. You will have seen the brand on CPU sockets, USB ports, PCI sockets, DIMM slots, DVD drives, and many others besides.
When we say that Foxconn makes just about everything, we mean it. The company's range of consumer products includes motherboards, cases, heatsinks, barebones systems, card readers, wireless network cards and power supply units. However, that isn't all that the company makes. Foxconn is an electronics compontent manufacturer too, and that is why you will have seen the brand on just about every different type of computer component.
Foxconn is making a move into the enthusiast space, with a line of enthusiast-orientated motherboards featuring Fox One overclocking technology. The company is also looking to move into the gaming market too - it is already a massive supporter of KODE5 - a global gaming event that launched at this years' CeBIT trade show in Germany. We put Foxconn's first enthusiast-orientated motherboard through its paces over the last week or so. Read on to find out whether Foxconn's 975X7AA will help the company establish itself as a household name among enthusiasts...
Foxconn Fox One Overclocking technology, Foxconn BIOS Rescue technology;
Supports all LGA775 processors, including Intel Pentium 4, Celeron D, Pentium D and Pentium Extreme Edition models;
Four DDR2 memory slots supporting up to 8GB of DDR2-533/667/800;
Intel 975X north bridge, Intel ICH7R south bridge;
Two PCI-Express x16 slots (running at x8/x8 in dual card mode), two PCI-Express x1 slots and two PCI expansion slots;
7.1 channel Realtek ALC882 High Definition Azalia audio with universal audio jack sensing, along with RCA and Optical S/PDIF Out ports;
Four ICH7R-controlled SATA 300MBps ports supporting RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD configs;
One additional internal SATA port and one eSATA port controlled by the Silicon Image 3132 SATA 300MBps disk controller with support for RAID 0 and 1;
Dual Marvell Yukon PCI-Express based Gigabit Ethernet controllers (both are 88E8053 controllers);
Support for eight USB 2.0 ports (four on back I/O panel and four via on-board pin headers);
Two IEEE1394a Firewire ports;
One ATA133 IDE connector;
One Floppy drive connector.
Two red SATA cables;
Two black rounded ATA133 cables;
One black rounded floppy cable;
Two SATA power cables;
Rear I/O bracket;
USB 2.0 and IEEE1394a Firewire expansion brackets;
Driver & Utilities CD;
User manual and quick install/BIOS configuration guide.
The bundle included with the Foxconn 975X7AA motherboard is not quite a full complement, but there is a reasonable selection of included extras. We would have liked to see some additional SATA cables, but apart from that there is little to complain about in the 975X7AA's bundle. Incidentally, the SATA cables don't feature the 'clip lock' that we're seeing on a lot of bundled SATA cables these days.
It is good to see that Foxconn has included a pair of additional USB 2.0 ports on a PCI expansion bracket, along with an IEEE 1394a Firewire and Mini-Firewire expansion bracket. The rounded cables are the standard variety - they're not overly rigid and appear to be easily routable.
The manual is reasonably comprehensive - it details installation and the BIOS layout, as well as explaining how to use Foxconn's new overclocking technology; known as Fox One. The driver CD includes the Fox One application, along with Fox LiveUpdate - Foxconn's Windows BIOS flash utility.