iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Foxconn A9DA-S Motherboard

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Of all motherboards that Foxconn makes, mid-end models are the most interesting. Theoretically, those may be more feature-rich -- and cheaper -- than counterparts offered by more popular vendors. Let's see if today's model confirms this assumption.


Foxconn A9DA-S is a good motherboard to build a CrossFire rig with a couple of dual-slot graphics cards, because graphics card slots have double space between them, and all SATA connectors are horizontal. A pity that Foxconn didn't find some space for an IDE connector. Many people still use such drives. Besides, the chipset has native support for it, so the saving is minimal. Of other legacy interfaces, the motherboard only has a COM header that has high edges like USB/FireWire headers. This usually means that the motherboard is designed for people who assemble their rigs themselves. If you need to build an enclosureless machine or use the board for testing, you will like the power on and reset buttons as well.

Compared with other AMD 890GX motherboards we have tested, Foxconn A9DA-S doesn't have much extra features like USB 3.0 or even eSATA. Fortunately, it is bundled with a eSATA bracket that you can connect to one of the regular SATA ports.

The cooling system is rather compact. Heatsinks have original design and are obviously made for horizontal airflow. However, you won't need additional cooling, unless you're going to overclock the graphics core.

The CPU VRM has 8 phases, with 2 MOSFETs per phase. There are 9 x 820µF and 4 x 270µF capacitors, all solid. The motherboard supports processors with up to 140W TDP, but its circuitry isn't redundant.

The video buffer is a 128MB of DDR3-1333 memory (Hynix H5TQ1G63BFR-H9C).

The bundle includes 2 SATA cables with power adapters, a eSATA bracket, a user's manual, a quick-start guide and a software DVD that has a classic set of tools for upgrading BIOS, system monitoring and customizing BIOS splash screen. There's also Norton Internet Security.

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Page 1: Introduction, design

Page 2: Features, overclocking, performance

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