BIOS provides no overclocking options. That's another thing you don't see so often. Obviously, this can be explained by motherboard's market positioning. But you can still increase memory voltage to provide compatibility with certain modules.
The monitoring section shows three fan speeds (all on-board connectors are 4-pin), CPU and motherboard temperatures, CPU core and memory voltages as well as the standard ATX voltages.
The motherboard can control CPU cooler automatically. You will need to set a CPU temperature at which the cooler should start rotating, and another CPU temperature at which it should stop rotating. This scheme isn't quite clear. You can also set an increment in fan speed per a degree of increasing temperature.
The bundle is basic: 2 SATA cables, 2 SATA power adapters, a backpanel faceplate, a user's manual, a quick-start guide, and a software DVD.
Foxconn doesn't make a lot of proprietary software utilities, but, unlike ECS, it still offers a few simple tools. Of those only Fox One is worthy of attention. This is an overclocking, monitoring and fan control tool. The standard manual overclocking features (BCLK and memory clock rate adjustment) are expanded by an automatic overclocking mode. Essentially, the tool will gradually increase clock rates and you will need to remember at which values the machine will hang. The utility doesn't offer notifications or any overclocking stats. Not to mention the automatic recovery of the last successful configuration. The fan control part is a somewhat strange, because, although the utility lets you select the automatic mode, you can only adjust the automatic mode parameters in BIOS. What you can actually do in Windows is adjust fan speed manually.
The value nature of H55MX-S doesn't show much on the backpanel. There are HDMI and DVI-I outputs, a COM port (not a typical thing to see in 2010), one PS/2 port is replaced by 2 USB 2.0 ones. This is justified, but some people may still consider it a drawback.
Foxconn H55MX-S is based on the Intel H55 chipset. It has 6 SATA 3Gbps connectors and 3 USB 2.0 headers for 6 USB 2.0 ports. The additional controllers are listed below.
- Integrated audio based on 7.1+2-channel Realtek ALC888S HDA codec. There's an optical S/PDIF-Out (Toslink) on the back panel and a digital S/PDIF-Out on the PCB.
- Gigabit Ethernet based on Realtek RTL8111DL (PCIe x1).
We tested the integrated audio solution in the 16-bit/44kHz and 16-bit/48kHz modes using RightMark Audio Analyzer 6.0 and a Terratec DMX 6fire sound card.
|Frequency response (40Hz to 15kHz), dB:
|Noise level, dB(A)
|Dynamic range, dB(A)
|THD + noise, dB(A)
|IMD + noise, %
|Channel crosstalk, dB
|IMD at 10 kHz, %
The digital S/PDIF on the PCB supports both 44.1kHz and 48kHz sampling rates and can be used to transmit sound to a HDMI-equipped graphics card. Motherboard drivers do not support any extra technologies like DTS/Dolby.
We have already reviewed several motherboards based on the H55 and P55 chipsets. But all of those pretended to be more feature-rich than your regular value motherboard and were priced about $110-120. In its turn, Foxconn H55MX-S is priced under the psychological threshold of $100. Naturally, it has but basic functionality and isn't meant to be overclocked. At the same time, it has a few advantages you don't normally find in products cheaper than a hundred bucks. These include polymer capacitors and HDMI and DVI-I outputs. The COM port and the PCIe x4 slot may also come in handy at times. On the downside, Foxconn H55MX-S only has two memory sockets, doesn't support IDE and requires a DVI-to-D-Sub adapter.
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