Another mainboard from the manufacturer, whom we haven't reviewed
yet. Its main difference from "the elder sister" 915M03-G-8EKRS2
is that it supports common DDR400 instead of new "progressive"
DDR2. However, even DDR400 is more than enough for a budget solution
(especially in combination with a dual channel controller). The mainboard
is rather functional for its format, perhaps its only drawback is
the scarcity of PATA connectors (only one actually), but this limitation
is imposed by the chipset as well as by the form factor.
PCB layout is usual and... inconvenient – the form factor dictates its terms. Access to jumpers may be hampered when the mainboard is in a case, their description is provided on the PCB. The 3-phase switching voltage regulator of the processor incorporates three 1800 uF capacitors and eight 560 uF capacitors. The PCB also contains voltage regulators for the PCI-E x16 bus (2x1000 uF) and for memory (4x1000 uF).
The mainboard lacks the AUX-In and Modem-In connectors, which are provided by the PCB layout. Mainboard dimensions – 245x245 mm ("wide" mATX, eight-screw mount, the fore-left PCB edge may sag). The ITE IT8712F-A chip is used to monitor:
Onboard ports, sockets, and connectors
Pay attention that the orientation of this mainboard toward old solutions is expressed not only by DDR400 memory support but also by a different balance between the new (PCI Express) and old (PCI) expansion slots: instead of two PCI-E 1x slots and one PCI slot as in 915M03-G-8EKRS2, it contains two PCI slots and just one PCI-E 1x.
Back panel (left to right, blockwise)
One can note the SATA power converter (useful accessory for the owners of power units without Serial ATA power connectors) and Norton Internet Security 2004 – fairly good personal firewall (the latest version). Foxconn SuperUtilites is a set of utilities, which functionality can be easily guessed from their titles: SuperBoot, SuperBIOS-Protect, SuperStep (overclocking), SuperLogo, SuperUpdate.
It's interesting to see the FireWire support in the mainboard of the mATX format, which is traditionally associated with inexpensive budget solutions.
General performance: Very good (details).
We used BIOS dated 29.05.2004, the latest available BIOS version at the time of our tests.
Preliminary test results
We'll provide one of the diagrams from the future review. Foxconn 915M07-G-8EKRS results are represented by the "i915G/DDR400" bar:
Dmitry Majorov (firstname.lastname@example.org)
10 August, 2004
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