Foxconn Intel i945/i955 Dual Core Motherboards

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Introduction

945P7AA955X7AA  945G7MA

Today, Legit Reviews takes a look at a trio of boards from Foxconn based on Intel’s 955X and 945 chipsets. First up is the 955X based 955X7AA, Foxconn’s flagship board. Then we tackle Foxconn’s very able 945P based board, the 945P7AA, and lastly we take a look at their 945G based micro-ATX board the 945G7MA, which features Intel’s integrated Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA)

“The Foxconn 955X7AA-8KS2, a motherboard with extreme performance capabilities, coupled with Intel’s new Extreme Edition processor, ensures an exceptional user experience, especially in the entertainment environment. The 955X7AA-8KS2, which features support for an unprecedented 8GB of DDR2-667 memory, is ready for current and future 64-bit operating systems. It provides the ability to process higher quality audio and video, as well as do high speed 3D rendering. It includes dual Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) LAN ports, allowing extremely fast local area network interaction while concurrently surfing the Internet at the highest possible speed. With one IEEE-1394b port, capable of data transfer rates up to 800Mbps, and two IEEE-1394a ports, this board supports communication with today’s fastest multimedia equipment. And, as a motherboard full of innovations and rich features, it supports the industry’s latest drive technology, Serial ATA II, doubling hard drive bus bandwidth for blazingly fast disk performance. In total there are eight SATA connectors, four SATA II and four SATA. RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, 10, Intel Matrix Storage Technology are supported by the 4 SATA/300 ports coming off the ICH7. In addition, the board includes support for up to four ATA /133 drives with RAID. The ability to securely store your precious data while speeding up data writing and reading rates has never been higher. Further, the Foxconn 955X7AA-8EKRS2 fully supports Intel’s Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST), saving power when processor loading is at reduced levels. In a word this high-performance, leading-edge platform, is the ULTIMATE choice for high-end gamers and enthusiasts.

The Foxconn 945P7AA-8KS2 and 945G7MA-8KS2 support 800MHz and 1066MHz system bus speeds, dual-channel, 667MHz, DDR2 SDRAM, Serial ATA II with RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, 10, and Intel Matrix Storage Technology. The 945P7AA also includes a dual-channel, ATA/133 controller and IDE RAID capability. RAID brings more secure storage of your precious data while increasing data writing and reading rates. The 945G7MA incorporates Intel’s new Graphics Media Accelerator 950 (GMA950) graphics processor. With the GMA950 users will get incredible graphics, vivid colors, high-definition video and audio, and more. They will be able to stream multiple music sources to different rooms over a home network or watch, record, and pause live TV on their computers.

The Foxconn 945P7AA-8KS2 and 945G7MA-8KS2 are optimized for use with Hyper-Threading Technology-capable Intel processors, allowing faster multitasking and greater productivity. Faster access to data, aggressive protection of your business applications and data from viruses, hackers, and worms, and easier system maintenance are all afforded with these new Foxconn motherboards. You can do more in less time, propelling greater productivity and responsiveness in the home and in your business. In addition, when coupled with appropriate Intel processors, these great, new Foxconn motherboards support the latest in power saving, Intel’s Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST).”

While Foxconn has never been mentioned in the same breath as ASUS or DFI when it comes to the enthusiast crowd, their  925XE7AA-8EKRS2  was well recieved, and proved to be a pretty damn good performer. Could we soon see Foxconn join the motherboard elite?  

Let’s check out some specs before we move on to the boards themselves and some benchmarking.

Motherboard

955X7AA-8EKRS2

945P7AA-8KS2

945G7MA-8KS2

Processor Intel Pentium 4, Socket 775, 800/1066MHz FSB
Supports Intel Pentium D and Prescott processors
Intel Hyper-Threading Technology supported
 Intel Pentium 4, Socket 775, 533/800/1066MHz FSB
Supports Intel Pentium D, Prescott, & Celeron D processors
Intel Hyper-Threading Technology supported
Intel Pentium 4, Socket 775, 533/800/1066MHz FSB
Supports Intel Pentium D, Prescott, & Celeron D processors
Intel Hyper-Threading Technology Supported
Chipset Intel 955X Express + ICH7R Intel 945P Express + ICH7R Intel 945G Express + ICH7R
Memory Dual channel, unbuffered, 1.8V DDR2-533/667 w/ or w/o ECC; (4) 240-pin DIMM sockets, max 8GB Dual channel, unbuffered, 1.8V DDR2-533/667; (4) 240-pin DIMM sockets, max 4GB Dual channel, unbuffered, 1.8V DDR2-533/667; (4) 240-pin DIMM sockets, max 4GB
Graphics Discrete (non-integrated) – use expansion slot Discrete (non-integrated) – use expansion slot Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 controller plus PCI Express x16 slot
Supports up to approx 224MB shared system memory (DVMT + fixed)
Expansion Slots 1 x PCI Express x16, 3 x PCI Express x1, 3 x PCI 1 x PCI Express x16, 2 x PCI Express x1, 3 x PCI 1 x PCI Express x16, 1 x PCI Express x1, 2 x PCI IDE/ATA Support 1 x ATA/100 + 2 x ATA/133 (w/ RAID) + 4 x SATA/300 (w/ RAID) + 4 x SATA/150 (w/ RAID)
Supports RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, and Intel Matrix Storage Technology (1+0 on 2 HDDs)
Supports IDE RAID 0, 1, and 1+0
Includes second SATA RAID controller (0, 1, and 1+0)
1 x ATA/100 + 2 x ATA/133 (w/ RAID) + 4 x SATA/300 1 x ATA/100 + 1 x ATA/133 + 4 x SATA/300  Audio Integrated, 7.1 channel High Definition (Realtek) Integrated, 7.1 channel High Definition (Realtek) Integrated, 7.1 channel High Definition (Realtek) LAN Dual integrated Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000) controllers, dual ports (Broadcom) Dual integrated Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000) controllers (Broadcom) Integrated Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000) controller (Broadcom)

IEEE-1394

USB

3 via internal headers + rear cable/bracket assemby (1 x 1394b + 1 x 1394a 4-pin + 1 x 1394a 6-pin)

Up to 8; 4 in rear I/O area + 2 internal 2-port headers; ver. 2.0

Up to 8; 4 in rear I/O area + 2 internal 2-port headers; ver. 2.0

Up to 8; 4 in rear I/O area + 2 internal 2-port headers; ver. 2.0

Rear I/O Ports 1 x PS/2 keyboard
1 x PS/2 mouse
1 x RJ45 (LAN)
4 x USB 2.0
1 x line-in/line-out/mic (audio)
1 x parallel (SPP/ECP/EPP)
1 x COM (16550-compatible UART)
Additional line-outs for 7.1 channel audio
2 x S/PDIF (1 x coax out + 1 x optical out)
2 or 4 ports USB 2.0 via cable/bracket from internal headers (shared w/ front)
3 x IEEE-1394 via cable/bracket from internal headers (shared w/ front)
1 x PS/2 keyboard
1 x PS/2 mouse
1 x RJ45 (LAN)
4 x USB 2.0
1 x line-in/line-out/mic (audio)
1 x parallel (SPP/ECP/EPP)
1 x COM (16550-compatible UART)
Additional line-outs for 7.1 channel audio
Second RJ45 (LAN)
1 x IEEE-1394
1 x S/PDIF (coax out)
1 x PS/2 keyboard
1 x PS/2 mouse
1 x RJ45 (LAN)
4 x USB 2.0
1 x line-in/line-out/mic (audio)
1 x parallel (SPP/ECP/EPP)
1 x COM (16550-compatible UART)
1 x VGA (integrated video)
Additional line-outs for 7.1 channel audio
1 x IEEE-1394
Internal Connectors/Headers 1 x floppy disk drive
Front audio header
2 x USB 2-port headers, ver. 2.0
3 x IEEE-1394 headers
1 x floppy disk drive
Front audio header
2 x USB 2-port headers, ver. 2.0
1 x IEEE-1394 header
COM2 header (only)
1 x floppy disk drive
Front audio header
1 x S/PDIF (coax out) header
2 x USB 2-port headers, ver. 2.0
1 x IEEE-1394 header
BIOS 4Mb flash EEPROM w/ LAN boot, PnP, ACPI, WfM, DMI 2.0 4Mb flash EEPROM w/ LAN boot, PnP, ACPI, WfM, DMI 2.0, 4Mb flash EEPROM w/ LAN boot, PnP, ACPI, WfM, DMI 2.0, Special Features Wake-on-LAN (WOL), suspend-to-RAM (STR, S3), suspend-to-disk (STD, S4), SuperUtilities – SuperBoot, SuperBIOS-Protect, SuperRecovery, SuperSpeed, SuperStep, SuperLogo, and SuperUpdate Wake-on-LAN (WOL), suspend-to-RAM (STR, S3), suspend-to-disk (STD, S4), SuperUtilities – SuperBoot, SuperBIOS-Protect, SuperRecovery, SuperSpeed, SuperStep, SuperLogo, and SuperUpdate Wake-on-LAN (WOL), suspend-to-RAM (STR, S3), suspend-to-disk (STD, S4), SuperUtilities – SuperBoot, SuperBIOS-Protect, SuperRecovery, SuperSpeed, SuperStep, SuperLogo, and SuperUpdate Overclocking Features Adjustable bus speeds
Adjustable memory timing
Adjustable voltages (may be Vcore only)
Adjustable ratios
Adjustable bus speeds
Adjustable memory timing
Adjustable voltages (may be Vcore only)
Adjustable bus speeds
Adjustable memory timing
Adjustable voltages (may be Vcore only)
Adjustable ratios
Accessories Support CD, user’s manual (or installation guide), rear I/O shield, 1 x floppy drive cable, 1 x HDD/ODD drive cable (supports UDMA/ATA 33/66/100/133 drives)
RAID driver on floppy disk(s)
8 x SATA data cables, 4 x SATA power cable (each supports 2 drives),
1 extra HDD/ODD drive cable (supports UDMA/ATA 33/66/100/133 drives)
Non-SATA drive cables are round and sheathed at the connectors
Rear cable/bracket assembly w/ 2 x USB 2.0 ports
Rear cable/bracket assembly w/ 1 x 4-pin + 1 x 6-pin IEEE-1394a + 1 x 1394b connectors
Support CD, user’s manual (or installation guide), rear I/O shield, 1 x floppy drive cable, 1 x HDD/ODD drive cable (supports UDMA/ATA 33/66/100/133 drives)
Quick installation ”poster”
RAID driver on floppy disk(s)
2 x SATA data cables, 1 x SATA power cable (supports 2 drives),
1 extra HDD/ODD drive cable (supports UDMA/ATA 33/66/100/133 drives)
Support CD, user’s manual (or installation guide), rear I/O shield, 1 x floppy drive cable, 1 x HDD/ODD drive cable (supports UDMA/ATA 33/66/100/133 drives)
Quick installation ”flyer”
RAID driver on floppy disk(s)
2 x SATA data cables, 1 x SATA power cable (supports 2 drives),
1 extra HDD/ODD drive cable (supports UDMA/ATA 33/66/100/133 drives)
Form Factor ATX, 12” x 9.6” or smaller – see User’s Manual ATX, 12” x 9.6” or smaller – see User’s Manual microATX, 9.6” x 9.6” or smaller – see User’s Manual

Lets look at the boards individually before we move on to some benchmarking.

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