Foxconn Digitalife A79A-S Motherboard

Test Setup and Overclocking

Test Setup and Overclocking
 
To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configuration used in this review can be seen below:
 
System configuration
 
During the testing of the setup above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used before the benchmarking began, with a full defrag of the hard drive once all the drivers and software were installed, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard installations. For the 3DMark and gaming tests a single card configuration was used.
 
To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities were used:
 
Synthetic CPU & Memory Subsystem
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c
• Lavalys Everest 4.0

File Compression & Encoding

• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

Disk I/O Performance

• HDTach 3.0.4.0
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark 05
• 3DMark 06

3D Games
• Crysis
• Racedriver GRID
• Unreal Tournament 3
 
 
Overclocking
 
With many options available, moderate overclocks were easily gained through the AUTO options, but better overclocks were accomplished tweaking the Vcore/NB/HTT voltages. The Foxconn A79A-S motherboard comes with an overclocking utility called Fox One, and whilst it is quite a reasonable utility, I preferred using AMD OverDrive.
 
Fox One
 
 
AMD Phenom @ stock 
 
I managed to overclock my Phenom X4 9850 BE processor to just over 3.4Ghz by simply manipulating the multiplier (gotta love an unlocked multiplier). Fiddling with the various voltage options within the BIOS and attempting to push the FSB above 210 yielded a non-posting motherboard. 3.5Ghz was attainable on the Foxconn A79A-S motherboard, but it got a little flakey when running Stress Prime 2004.
 
AMD Phenom overclocked
 
All things considered, 3.412Ghz is nothing to be sneezed at on air. Well done Foxconn!
 
Unfortunately, I was unable to get hold of another 790FX motherboard to use as a comparison, and using an Intel Q6600 would have been an unfair comparison. So the following benchmarking session was conducted with the AMD Phenom X4 9850 BE at stock and overclocked settings. Let's head over the page to see how the Foxconn A79A-S performed in the benchmarks...
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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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