Today we shall review Foxconn P67A-S, one of company's two motherboards based on the P67 chipset. At first glance it looks like a nearly mainstream solution, but in fact it offers everything a typical buyer may need. And it shouldn't be too expensive as well.
Note that while most motherboard makers add "B3" to product names to indicate that the chipset issue has been fixed, Foxconn prefers to specify "v2.0" on product stickers (visit this page for more information).
The layout of P67A-S is very simple, with no intersecting connectors and such, because there's enough space on the PCB. This motherboard offers perhaps the most reasonable set of expansion slots today: two PCIe x16 (x8+x8 if two graphics cards are installed), three PCIe x1 and two PCI. Installing one graphics card obstructs a PCIe x1 slot, adding the second prevents access to a PCI one. For an ATX board this is good. Note the undying IDE interface. We never thought we'd see one on a P67 motherboard. Although ASRock P67 Pro3 has an FDD connector, for example.
Possible drawbacks include vertical SATA connectors which will be obstructed by the second graphics card, given it's long enough. Unfortunately, those are the SATA-600 ports initially not prone to the memorable Intel 6th series chipset defect. Obviously, a lot of people will prefer to use these primarily, just in case. Fortunately, SATA cables with L-shaped connectors are widely available, so at least one such port will be accessible.
The CPU VRM is modest, if compared with available counterparts. The P67 chipset suggests overclocking, after all. Anyway, there's a 6-phase PWM controller from ON Semiconductor. Four pases handle processor core power, one is responsible for the built-in graphics, and the last one is used by System Agent. However, there are three MOSFETs per CPU core phase, so this will be enough for overclocking except extreme. All capacitors are polymer, solid and made by the Japanese Fujitsu.
Despite the relatively small number of MOSFETs in the CPU VRM, Foxconn hasn't improved their cooling. Just the opposite, that fancy device is clearly decorative, and its only relation to cooling is the location it's mounted at.
Speaking of the chipset cooling, we haven't witnessed any overheating issues yet, and Foxconn P67A-S is not an exception. The small heatsink gets warm, but that's it. And it also doesn't prevent you from installing large expansion cards, laying cables and such.
In terms of additional 'hardware' technologies, Foxconn provides what any other typical mid-end motherboard can offer. There's a POST controller, Power/Reset buttons. The latter are not located at the very edge, so accessing them may be a bit difficult. Unfortunately, there's no Clear CMOS button, so you'll have to use a jumper. Quite surpisingly, there's a set of pads which allow you to check key voltages with a multimeter. The only difference from what high-end motherboards offer is that there are no fancy connectors.
Write a comment below. No registration needed!