Foxconn Digitalife A79A-S Motherboard

Introduction

Introduction Foxconn Digital Life logo

To be honest, if any company were to spring to mind when thinking about motherboards that bring lifestyle and personal computing together, it would be ASUS and their AI Lifestyle range. However, nothing could be further from the truth as Gigabyte have their 'Digital Home' range of motherboards, and Foxconn have have their 'Digital Life' range. Foxconn's Digital Life range currently has two motherboards available, the Intel P45 based ELA, and the AMD 790FX based A79A-S. It will be the latter that we be reviewing today.

The Foxconn Digital Life range of motherboards are all about performance, enhanced connectivity and enabling digital entertainment. Whilst they don't aim to provide the extreme performance of say, the Foxconn BlackOps, but more of an 'all-rounder' approach to personal computing - power on tap when you need it, but a range of connectivity options for those who require it. Let's hear what Foxconn have to say:

Digital Life...aims to bring more connectivity and digital entertainment capability to enthusiast motherboards. Digital Life is about giving users better capability to utilize their PC in the home environment, not just sat in the corner of a home office or being used as a high-end enthusiast rig.

We wanted to combine the performance and overclocking features found on enthusiast motherboards with some additional connectivity capabilities, which will provide for a more adaptable computing platform.

Well performance and increased connectivity is fine by me. but let's get started with the review of the Foxconn A79A-S Digitalife motherboard by having a look at its specifications.
 

Specifications

The specifications for the Foxconn A79A-S Digitalife motherboard were unashamedly copied from Foxconn' product page.
 
Processor: AMD Phenom™FX, Phenom™, Athlon™ 64x2, Athlon™ 64, Sempron™ processors, Socket AM2 and AM2+.

Chipset: AMD® 790FX + SB750

Front Side Bus: 5.2 GT/s HyperTransport™

Memory: Dual channel DDR2 1066/800/667/533 x 4 DIMMs, Max. 8GB

VGA on Die: Discreted

Expansion Slots: 4* PCIe2.0 x16, 1* PCIe2.0 x1, 1* PCI

IDE: 1* ATA133

Serial ATA(SATA)/RAID: 6* SATAII + 2* eSATA w / RAID 0, 1, 10, 5, JBOD

Audio: 7.1 channel HDA by Realtek® ALC888SDD, DTS CONNECT™ and Dolby Digital Live™ certified audio

LAN: Dual Gigabit LAN by Realtek®RTL8111B

IEEE1394: 2* 1394a connectors (rear panel x1, pin header x1)

Back Panel I/O Ports:
1 x PS/2 keyboard port
1 x PS/2 mouse port
1 x S/PDIF Out Coaxial port
1 x S/PDIF Out Fiber port
2 x eSATA ports
1 x Audio jack supports 6 jacks
6 x USB 2.0 ports
2 x RJ45 LAN ports
1 x 1394 port

Internal I/O Connectors:
1 x ATX 24-pin power connector
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V power connector
1 x 4-pin power connector
2 x 4-pin CPU / System smart fan connectors
3 x Onboard On/Off/CMOS reset buttons
3 x 3-pin power fan connectors
1 x Floppy disk drive connector
1 x CD-in connector
1 x Front Panel header
1 x Buzzer
3 x USB 2.0 headers support additional 6 ports
6 x Serial ATAII connectors
1 x ATA133 IDE connector
1 x Onboard power_LED
1 x Intrusion Alarm header
1 x Intel Azalia header
1 x COM1 header
1 x 1394 header
1 x IrDA header
1 x Speaker

BIOS Features:
8Mb flash EEPROM w/ LAN boot PnP, ACPI, WfM,

Support CD: Drivers, Adobe Reader, SuperUtilities, Norton Internet Security

Standards/Manageability: PCI 2.3, USB2.0, DMI 2.5

Special Features:
* Based on AMD 790FX chipset with AOD Extreme & SB750 Southbridge
* 4* PCIe x16 Gen2.0 with ATI CrossFireX™ support
* Dual Channel DDR2 1066MHz support with AM2+ socket Phenom™ processors
* DTS CONNECT™ and Dolby Digital Live™ certified audio
* Dual Digital Audio function enables separation of 2 different sound sources from your PC, and also provides 2 digital audio outputs via S/PDIF Coaxial and Fiber
* 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" x 9.6")

The Foxconn A79A-S features an impressive array of features and connectivity options which should satisfy even the most discerning user.

Let's head over the page to see how the Foxconn A79A-S should arrive at your door, by taking a look at the packaging and contents...
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Most Recent Comments

21-11-2008, 08:18:11

PV5150
In the market for an AM2 motherboard to double as a multimedia all-rounder? Foxconn has released their A79A-S DigitaLife motherboard based upon the 790FX + SB750 chipset and we simply had to take a look.

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...135029989s.jpg

Read the review here

21-11-2008, 08:49:22

Hassan
Is there any possibility of finding out on how it compares with a Intel Q6600?

21-11-2008, 09:46:29

PV5150
I was going to do a series of performance numbers from a stock clocked Q6600 as a reference only, but it usually gets misconstrued as a comparison. Hence the reason I left them out.

21-11-2008, 14:57:28

w3bbo
I'm in the middle of an AMD head to head based on the same chipset so can include a Q6600 result set for a comparison.

Nice read as always PV.

21-11-2008, 15:23:09

FarFarAway
Excellent well written review Peevs, good work

21-11-2008, 15:27:34

Rastalovich
Bah, I got disappointed when I left reading the price til the end.

It's a decent mobo - but that's it, decent. Colors are quite alarming, although I'm not sure using red to make it go faster actually worked

If I'd got to the conclusion page and saw a UK price sub 150 I might feel different. 200 for the mobo isn't tastey to me at all. If there was an extremely sexy bundle with it, I might think around 175 because of it alone.

Foxconn make some really great looking and performing Intel mobos, maybe a little overpriced also, but the likes of the Black Ops include test beds, ln2 pots .. other crazy things, but it helps justify the pricing, not totally, but it helps ur conscience.

I'd expect a price drop.

22-11-2008, 00:45:14

PV5150
Thanks guys and I'm glad you enjoyed the review.

@ Rast: I totally agree with what you're saying. If the bundle had been better and the price wasn't GBP200 then it certainly would have been a more attractive deal. Given the board's overclocking capability and stability, it's a shame to see it being passed by simply because of an exorbitant price.

22-11-2008, 10:14:41

Rastalovich
Is there anything to be gained from an eventual AM3 'designed' specific mobo ?

I do in all honesty, think the mobo manufacturers have let their creative juices go stagnant when it comes to AMD design in general.

I mean people would invest in a new AM2+ mobo if they rearranged some of the onboard stuff, socket areas, something beneficial to a cooling setup. Use the feedback that I'm sure AMD users have about little niggles when installing giant coolers, air flow, getting the ati cards in there and still having 3 or so pci slots avilable ??

I dunno. Something purely creative that gives them an advantage and ease for the enthusiast.

These mobos look like pre K7 boards.

22-11-2008, 11:46:35

nepas
damm shame about the price,it is not the cheapest board with the 750 chipset,which makes you wonder why you pay that much for a foxconn board
Reply
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