iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail

Platform

Video

Multimedia

Mobile

Other

Foxconn A88GM Deluxe Motherboard

A decent microATX solution on the updated chipset.

September 20, 2010



<< Previous page

     Next page >>

Some time after the integrated chipset AMD 890GX was rolled out to replace AMD 790GX in the high-end segment, the quite successful AMD 780G was replaced by AMD 880G in the mainstream segment.

The new chipset has a graphics core similar to the one of AMD 785G. It supports DirectX 10.1 and UVD 2.0, just the clock rate is a bit higher (560 MHz instead of 500 MHz). The novelty can be used with SB810 or SB850, for more information on these new Southbridges please see the AMD 890GX review. The lower-end Southbridge model is only different by not supporting RAID 5. Anyway, the key innovations are support for SATA 3.0 and the doubled throughput of Northbridge and Southbridge interconnection.

Design



The motherboard is a bit narrower than a standard microATX one, but it still has 4 typical expansion slots, 2 of which are PCI. This should please owners of legacy cards. The layout is convenient enough, all primary interfaces being located along the edges and USB headers having high borders. The build quality is also nice: accurate soldering, only solid capacitors. Clearly this is a high-quality microATX motherboard designed for captious end users, not economical system builders.



Nevertheless, the number of auxillary controllers is minimal, so the list of interfaces only includes what the chipset can offer. It's good that there's a eSATA port as well.



The cooling system has originally shaped heatsinks on the Northbridge and MOSFETs. But it's hardly more expensive than regular heatsinks with vertical fins. In this case the fins are quite thick, so the heat dissipation area is smaller than you might think. On the other hand, this design will do nicely, if there's a properly oriented CPU fan. Note that in the typical use mode it would be reasonable to have the fan drive air to the chipset heatsink. And if you want to overclock, you should aim the fan at the CPU VRM.



The CPU VRM has 5 phases. There are 3 MOSFETs per processor phase and 2 per CPU NB phase. There are also 6 x 820µF and 4 x 270µF capacitors, all solid. The motherboard should support processors with up to 140W TDP, but it doesn't provide much redundancy.



The bundle includes 2 SATA cables with power adapters, a quick-start guide, a user's manual, and a software CD with a classic set of BIOS update, system monitoring and BIOS splash screen changing tools.

Features



A88GM Deluxe is based on the AMD 880G chipset (AMD 880G Northbridge + SB850 Southbridge). There are 5 internal SATA 6Gbps ports (RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5) and 1 eSATA 6Gbps on the backpanel. The auxillary controllers are listed below.

  • Integrated audio based on the 7.1-channel Realtek ALC888 HDA codec.
  • Gigabit Ethernet based on Realtek RTL8111DL (PCIe x1).
  • System monitoring based on ITE IT8721F. The BIOS can automatically control the speed of processor, system and Northbridge fans. Unfortunately, only 4-pin fans are supported. You can set temperature thresholds for a complete stop, gradual adjustment and maximum speed.

We assessed the integrated audio solution in the 16-bit/44kHz mode using RightMark Audio Analyzer 6.2.3 and an ESI Juli@ sound card.


Frequency response (40Hz to 15kHz), dB: +0.00, -0.01 Excellent
Noise level, dB(A) -82.5 Good
Dynamic range, dB(A) 82.9 Good
THD, % 0.0080 Very good
THD + noise, dB(A) -78.5 Average
IMD + noise, % 0.018 Very good
Channel crosstalk, dB -88.4 Excellent
IMD at 10 kHz, % 0.020 Very good

Overall grade: very good.


Write a comment below. No registration needed!


Next page >>

Article navigation:

Page 1: Introduction, design, features

Page 2: Overclocking, power consumption, efficiency



blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook


Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.