BIOS: 428Xp214 (06/10/2004)
Boards from the Taiwan manufacturer Foxconn (or Hon Hai Precision Ltd.) also arrived early at our test laboratory. We are pleased to report that they are of a high quality. The 915A01 is based on the 915P chipset and is modestly equipped in comparison.
Foxconn provides three PCI and three PCI Express x1 slots; a GbE chip from Realtek provides the network connection, which is however only connected by PCI. The sound system meets Intel's standards of High Definition Audio and is also based on a Codec from the manufacturer Realtek. The VT6307 from VIA Technologies provides three Firewire ports (1394a).
The temperature of the Northbridge is kept in check by a heavy-duty heat sink, whereas the Southbridge on the Foxconn board is not cooled at all - in contrast to its rivals. According to measurements by Foxconn, this is not absolutely necessary, despite the high power loss. Unlike some of its competitors, Foxconn does not play around with the chipset voltage.
Unfortunately, there are only a few possibilities to overclock the system in the BIOS - in this case Foxconn takes a rather conservative approach. An amusing bug: the BIOS submenu for configuring the CPU and the main memory appears twice in the version delivered to us. A less amusing fact was that the board did not execute the RAID BIOS from time to time during the boot-up procedure. The board duly passed our cutout test with an approximately 74°C housing temperature of the processor.
The Realtek 8110S is a PCI chip for Gigabit Ethernet.
Foxconn operates the Southbridge without additional cooling measures.
The range of items supplied with the 915A01 is satisfactory, but is surpassed by its rivals.
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