April 08, 2011

Review-Foxconn A9DA-S Motherboard: High-end, Yet Affordable

  The 890GX chipset sits on the second-highest position in AMD’s current lineup, which means that it’s an enthusiast product designed for high-end systems. However, this is not the case with Foxconn’s A9DA-S, a motherboard based on the 890GX. Priced well below US$ 100, the A9DA-S offers 890 GX’s features and performance while keeping the cost at a minimum. Maybe Foxconn is trying to attract budget-conscious system builders with this low-priced alternative.

  We’ll be exploring the motherboard’s performance and feature sets in this article. But first, let’s take a look at the specification table.

Processor:AMD Phenom™II,Athlon™II processors, Socket AM3
Chipset:AMD® 890GX + SB850
Front Side Bus:4.8 GT/s HyperTransport
Memory:Dual channel DDR3 1600(oc)/1333/1066 x 4 DIMMs, Max. 16GB
VGA on Die:Integrated ATI® Radeon™ HD4290
Expansion Slots:2* PCIe 2.0 x16, 2* PCIe 2.0 x1, 2* PCI
Serial ATA(SATA)/RAID:SATAIII * 5 + eSATA * 1 w / RAID 0, 1, 10, 5
Audio:7.1 channel HD Audio
LAN:Gigabit LAN
IEEE1394:IEEE1394a * 2
Back Panel I/O Ports:
1 x PS/2 keyboard port

1 x IEEE1394a port
1 x VGA port
1 x HDMI port
1 x DVI-D port
1 x Audio jack supports 6 jacks
6 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x RJ45 LAN port
1 x S/PDIF OUT port
Internal I/O Connectors:
1 x ATX 24-Pin power connector

1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
3 x 4-pin CPU / System / NB FAN connectors
1 x CD-in connector
1 x Front Audio Header
1 x COM header
1 x Speaker
4 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 8 ports
2 x onboard Power-on/Rest buttons
5 x Serial ATAIII connectors
1 x eSATA connector
1 x Front Panel header
1 x IEEE1394a connector
BIOS Features:16Mb flash EEPROM w/ LAN boot PnP, ACPI, WfM, DMI
Support CD:Drivers, DirectX10.1, Adobe Reader, SuperUtilities, Norton Internet Security
Standards/Manageability:PCI 2.3, USB2.0, DMI 2.5
Special Features:
* Based on AMD 890GX chipset with AOD Extreme & SB850 Southbridge

* 2* PCIe x16 Gen2.0 with ATI CrossFireX™ and Hybrid Graphics™ support
* onboard side port memory-128MB DDR3 1333 support, with graphics performance increasing over 15%
* Dual Channel DDR3 1600MHz(overclocking) support with AM3 socket Phenom™II processors
* 100% SOLID Capacitor design and Ferrite Choke power delivery ensure a stable basis for overclocking and increased reliability
* Fully supports AMD OverDrive™ utility for overclocking, system monitoring and testing.
Form Factor:ATX (12.0″ x 9.6″)

The Board
  The motherboard’s yellow-black color scheme gives it a somewhat unique look. Yellow elements on the PCI Express slots and processor socket stand out against the black background. There’s a bit of space between every component in this motherboard, unlike some other motherboards whose PCB could be very cramped with components.
  We found these I/O ports on the backplate:
  • 1 x P/S 2 Keyboard Port
  • 6x USB 2.0/1.1 Ports
  • 1x Firewire
  • 1 x DVI-D Port
  • 1 x HDMI Port
  • 1 x VGA Port
  • 1 x RJ-45 Port (LAN)
  • 1 x Optical S/PDIF Out Connector
  • 6 x audio jacks
The expansion slots consist of the following:
  • 2x Slot PCI-Express X16
  • 2x Slot PCI-Express X1
  • 2x Slot PCI

  Foxconn’s A9DA-S supports CrossFireX multi-graphics card configuration. Both of the PCI-Express X1 slots, however, are positioned right between the two PCI-Express X16 and could be rendered unusable when more than one graphics card is used.

  Some headers provide additional USB 2.0 ports (x4) along with one FireWire connector.

  There are a total of six SATA 3 ports (SATA 6Gbps) on this motherboard. The cable from the e-SATA bracket connects to one of these, thus reducing the amount of usable SATA ports to five when used.

  Solid capacitors and chokes make up the VRM section on one side of the processor socket.

  A passive heatsink sits on top of the north bridge chip, the south bridge chip, and the VRM. It sure doesn’t look fancy with no heatpipe involved, but at least the heatsinks are quite large, and they have quite a nice shape too. A power button and a reset button are provided. There is also a POST reader that could give some clue if something goes wrong during system boot. Foxconn equips this board with its special “FOX 2” overclocking chip. Pretty impressive for a US$ 100 board.

  With the A9DA-S, Foxconn has managed to produce a low-priced motherboard that doesn’t sacrifice performance for the sake of affordability. Our only complaint with the Foxconn A9DA-S is that it doesn’t provide any USB 3.0 ports (since it’s lacking a controller chip). Other than that, in our opinion, this board is worth every dollar spent on it.
This US$ 100 board comes with all the features that you could expect from a 890GX-based product. It even provides relatively complete overclocking parameters in the BIOS menu. From our point of view, the motherboard’s low price is enough to compensate the lack of USB 3.0 capability. For AMD system-builders looking for a good bargain, the Foxconn A9DA-S really deserves a closer look.

  • Relatively complete array of features for a motherboard of its price.
  • Cheaper than most other AMD 890GX motherboards

  • No USB 3.0 connectivity
Price: US $ 100

URL: http://loserba.blogspot.com/2011/04/review-foxconn-a9da-s-motherboard-high.html

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