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Foxconn A7DA-S review

Alan Lu
21 Sep 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
75
inc VAT

It's well laid out, with two PCI-E x16 slots, but its performance isn't as good as that of some cheaper boards.

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Specifications

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

Foxconn's A7DA-S is the only AM2+ motherboard here that can accept two graphics cards in ATI's CrossFireX mode.

It's well laid out, with its two PCI and two PCI-E x1 slots positioned so that one of each is easily accessible even if you fit a pair of double-height graphics cards. The integrated ATI Radeon HD 3300 can handle HD video playback but not 3D games or other graphically intensive applications. There are four DDR2 RAM slots, but while you can fit 8GB of memory, other AM2+ boards support 16GB. There are six SATA ports, one IDE and one floppy drive connector, all of which are conveniently located.

The ports on the I/O panel are less generous. There are only four USB ports - too few for most users - and no brackets to use the four extra USB headers. You can save on ports by using a PS/2 keyboard and mouse, though. Six multi-purpose mini-jack ports allow for eight-channel analogue surround sound, or you can use the HDMI output if you're using the integrated graphics processor too, but there are no optical or coaxial S/PDIF ports. However, the board is well equipped if you wish to connect external storage, with both a FireWire and an eSATA port. An additional eSATA bracket is bundled, too.

There's nothing wrong with this motherboard - it has some good features and isn't too expensive - but Gigabyte's GA-M720-US3 performs a little better and is £30 cheaper.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
Processor socketAM2+
Form factorATX
Size305x244mm
Processor supportSempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II, Athlon II
Processor external bus200MHz (2GHz HyperTransport)
Chipset north bridgeAMD 790GX
Chipset south bridgeAMD SB750
Passively-cooled north bridgeyes
Integrated graphicsYes
Supported memory typeDDR2 533/667/800/1066
Maximum memory speedPC2-8500
Memory slots4
Maximum memory8GB
Dual-channel supportyes

Buying Information

Price£75
Supplierhttp://www.ilgs.co.uk
Detailsuk.msi.com

Internal Ports

Power connectors1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX, 1x 4-pin Molex
PCI-E x16 slots2
Dual graphics architectureCrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots0
PCI-E x1 slots1
PCI slots2
Fan headers3
Floppy ports1
IDE ports1
Serial ATA ports6
RAID chipset (max disks)AMD SB750 (6x SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, JBOD)

Features

Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports)Realtek ALC888GR (6x analogue out, HDMI)
USB2 ports / headers4/4
Firewire ports / headers1/1
Legacy ports2x PS/2
Other portsHDMI
Cables included2x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x floppy, 2x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included1x eSATA
Software includedNorton Internet Security 2009 60-day trial

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustmentCPU/RAM/Chipset
CPU clock max adjustment400MHz

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