Foxconn Digitalife A79A-S Motherboard

Board Layout and Features

Board Layout

Upon first impressions, the Foxconn A79A-S is a definite mismatch of colours and the result is incredibly 'loud' to say the least. It's almost like Gigabyte, DFI and MSI got together and had mutant babies. Certainly not my favourite combination of colours at all. However, there is one redeeming factor about the colour scheme, and that is that the PCB is red which means that it'll hopefully go faster. :D

Foxconn A79A-S motherboard Foxconn A79A-S side on
rear of Foxconn A79A-S motherboard showing backplate

We can see from the rear of the motherboard that Foxconn has included a nice, big plate behind the CPU socket. This should provide ample and secure fixing for many of today's aftermarket cooling solutions.
 
Starting our tour around the Foxconn A79A-S on the left hand side of the motherboard, we can see the inclusion of four PCIE x 16 slots, one PCIE x1 and one PCI slot. If you're looking to run a dual graphics card setup (Crossfire) then you'll need to utilise the first and fourth slots (blue ones) as they provide x16 bandwidth (PCI Express 2.0). The second and third slots provide x8 bandwidth respectively. When four GPUs are installed all four slots operate at x8 speeds
 
Immediately above the topmost PCIE x 16 slot we can see the inclusion of an auxilliary power molex, which allows exclusive power for your graphics card/s. To the left of the expansion card slots are two Realtek RTL81118 chips which handle the dual Gigabit LAN duties.
 
Along the bottom edge of the motherboard, Foxconn has included front audio and speaker connectors, as well as one IEEE1394 and three USB headers.In the bottom right hand corner we can see the inclusion of a power and reset button; onboard debug LED's; four SATA ports (2x 90 degree and 2x vertical); one Primary IDE, and the front panel connectors. Immediately above the Primary IDE plug is the CLR_CMOS button.
 
The South Bridge is kept cool by a small and flat passive gold colored heat sink. It does get a bit warm to the touch when under heavy usage but it's not hot enough to be an issue.

 
PCIE x16 SATA, digital debug, power and reset switches
PCIE x16 slots AMIBIOS chip 
 
The Foxconn A79A-S motherboard has the capacity to cater for 8GB of DDR2 RAM courtesy of the four memory DIMM slots. Thankfully, when the motherboard was designed, someone at Foxconn thought about full length graphics cards and the DIMM catches. I'm happy to report that a full length graphics card inhibit your ability to remove memory modules from the DIMM slots without first removing the graphics card.
 
Next to the DIMM slots on the right hand side of the motherboard we can see the Floppy Disk Connector and 24-pin ATX power connector. Moving around to the CPU socket area we can see that it is reasonably clean apart the presence of five chokes and a number of low profile solid capacitors.
 
Memory DIMMs CPU socket
 MOSFET cooling NB heatsink
 
Immediately above, and to the left of the CPU socket area, is the 8-pin ATX 12V power connector. Providing cooling to the voltage regulation MOSFET's is a large copper heatsink that sits just behind the rear I/O ports. Cooling the North Bridge is a small copper heatsink with fins radiating outwards, and the FOXCONN DigitaLife logo sitting on the top. The North Bridge heatsink is very low profile and shouldn't cause any compatibility issues with aftermarket CPU coolers, although it does get incredibly warm when under load.
 
I/O area

Concluding our tour around the Foxconn A79A-S motherboard, we arrive at the rear I/O ports at the rear. Foxconn has included pretty much everything that you'd require for this board to be the foundation of a dedicated multimedia PC. As you can see the Foxconn A79A-S has the following ports on the rear I/O panel: PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, 1 IEEE1394a port, 2 eSATA ports, 2 RJ-45 GigE ports, 1 S/PDIF port, six mini-stereo headphone jacks, 1 optical out jack, and 6 USB ports.
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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
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