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Foxconn Digital Life A79A-S review

Alan Lu
24 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
185
inc VAT

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Specifications

AM2+, ATX, AMD 790FX chipset, supports: Sempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II

Foxconn's Digital Life A79A-S is very expensive even for new technology. It has a similar Northbridge chipset to MSI's DKA790GX Platinum, although its 790FX version doesn't include a graphics processor.

The A79A-S is well laid out and has plenty of ports, including two Gigabit Ethernet ports that make it easy to connect to two networks or share your internet connection. It has six USB ports plus three headers, a FireWire port and header, and two eSATA ports.

The feature that comes closest to justifying this motherboard's price is its PCI Express configuration. There are four PCI Express x16 ports, all of which can take graphics cards and, if you use ATI Radeon cards, combine their processing power using CrossFireX. This is expensive though, and a single dual-chip graphics card may produce similar performance for less. As well as providing more graphical power, this arrangement allows you to split your Windows desktop across up to 12 monitors. Less ambitious users can use the slots for any PCI Express card, including sound and network cards. There's also a PCI Express x1 and a traditional PCI slot.

The A79A-S is a genuinely good motherboard and performed well in our tests, but although it has some innovative features, the best of these will appeal only to a minority of enthusiasts. The prohibitively high price makes this motherboard an uneconomical option compared with MSI's DKA790GX Platinum.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Processor socketAM2+
Form factorATX
Size244x305mm
Processor supportSempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II
Processor external bus266MHz (1,066MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridgeAMD 790FX
Chipset south bridgeAMD SB750
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsNo
Supported memory typeDDR2 533/667/800/1066
Maximum memory speedPC2-8500
Memory slots4
Maximum memory8GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£185
Supplierhttp://www.oyyy.co.uk
Detailswww.foxconnchannel.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots4
Dual graphics architectureCrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots1
PCI slots1
Fan headers4
Floppy ports1
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports6
RAID chipset (max disks)AMD SB750 (6x SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 10)

Features

Wired network ports2x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC889A (optical and coaxial S/PDIF, 6x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers6/6
Firewire ports / headers1/1
Legacy ports2x PS/2, serial header
Other ports2x eSATA
Cables included6x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x floppy, 6x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included2x USB2, 1x 4-pin FireWire
Software includedNorton Internet Security

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset

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