FOXCONN 975X7AB-8EKRS2H Motherboard ReviewThu, Dec 21, 2006 - 12:00 AM
Bundle and BIOS
The bundle that comes with the 975XAB is one heck of a bundle! You get a ton of cables, including IDE, floppy, SATA and 4-pin moex to SATA power adaptors. You also get a couple of headers for gaming, USB and Firewire. This board also comes with a very detailed manual, a quick-start guide and a driver and application CD. Oh, and don’t forget the backplate! This one has color!
The bios that Foxconn decided to go with was a customized Phoenix Award Bios. The most interesting features are in the FOX Central Control Unit, so let me show you a few pics of the other pages, and then we will get to the main features of this bios.
Advanced bios page.
The health page has some great information as you monitor your systems conditions.
Ok, for the enthusiast, this is where you will spend your time! The Fox Central Control Unit has the tweaks that we need to get every ounce of performance out of the board. So let’s take a close look at what we have.
Our ram dividers come in the flavors of DDR2 400/533/677/800. Of course, overclocking does give you the opportunity to go even higher!
For setting ram timings, you have the standard settings. We used 4-4-4-12 for all of our testing. We did have an issue here. When we first received the board, we set our timings manually as we always do, but when we would boot into windows, tRAS would not hold its timing of 12 that we set, it would go to a setting of 15. We contacted Foxconn about this, and within just a couple of days, we had a new bios! We were shocked at the quick turn around from Foxconn with the new bios. User support like this is certainly the type of thing that would draw people to a company. Foxconn is to be commended for their attention to issues like this. With the new bios, we had absolutely no isses at all, and went on with our testing! THANK YOU FOXCONN!
vDimm is able to set up to 2.4v, which should be fine for all but the extreme enthusiast.
Our FSB had an option to go all the way to 600! That seems insane, but it is nice to have the option. How far did we get the board to go? You will have to wait until we get to the overclocking to see!
vCore give you the option to increase up to 24% of the default vCore setting. With our 6600 and its default 1.35v, that means we would be able to set the vcore to a 1.675 level. That is certainly acceptable for a Core 2 Duo chip.
CPU termination voltage can be increased by .18.
Chipset voltage can be increased by .24v, which is always helpful when overclocking.
Ok, let’s move on to the testing setup and get this baby benching!