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Review: Foxconn P9657AA-8EKRS2H Intel P965 motherboard

by Tarinder Sandhu on 22 November 2006, 01:24

Tags: Foxconn P9657AA-8EKRS2H motherboard, Foxconn (TPE:2317)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qahc5

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Specifications and discussion


Foxconn P9657AA-8EKRS2H
Item Specification
Processor Support All Intel LGA775 processors, including Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, Extreme
Northbridge Intel P965
Southbridge Intel ICH8R
Memory Support 4 DIMMs, DDR2, 533/667/800, 8GiB max
Graphics 1 x PCI Express Graphics 16x
PCI Express 1 x PCIe 1x, 1 x PCIe 4x, both from P965
PCI Conventional 3 slots; PCI2.2
ATA 1 port, JMicron JMB361 PCIe to ICH8R
1 port eSATA; JMicron JMB361
RAID 0/1/5/10, ICH8R
LAN 1 x 10/100/1000, Marvell 88E8056, PCIe to ICH8R
Audio HD Audio, 8-channel, Realtek ALC883 CODEC, ICH8R
Floppy 1 port, Winbond W83627EHG
FireWire 2-port VIA VT6308P 1394a
USB 10 ports, USB2.0, ICH8R
I/O ports PS/2, Serial, Parallel, eSATA, 4 x USB2.0, 1 x FireWire400, RJ45, audio, optical S/PDIF-out
Monitoring ASIC Fox One
Form factor ATX - 12in x 9.6in
Street price as at 20/11/06 £78 inc. VAT


Intel's P965 chipset is aimed at the user who requires the full range of current Intel CPU compatibility but doesn't care for every high-end feature to be tacked on the board, a la Intel 975X.

Most partners' P965 motherboards feature a single x16 PCIe slot, which takes away the possibility of multi-GPU CrossFire support. Along with a new MCH, P965 brings in the ICH8(R), integrating an additional couple of extra SATA-II and USB2.0 ports into the southbridge, but does away with PATA support altogether.

Foxconn's P9657AA-8EKRS2H is a straightforward implementation of P965, and it uses JMicron's JMB361 ASIC to add a two ATA133 channels and an external SATA connector located on the I/O section. PCIe-based Gigabit LAN and integrated High-Definition Audio are expected inclusions at around the £80 mark for an Intel LGA775-based motherboard. Foxconn also sensibly includes a trio of conventional PCI slots and a further three devoted to varying speeds of PCIe. This SKU takes in Intel's RAID-capable ICH8R southbridge. Foxconn also offers an ICH8-equipped (non-RAID version) that's known as P9657AA-8KS2H and which also misses out on FireWire support.

Foxconn's hardware monitoring/tweaking Fox One ASIC, which allows decent control of voltages and speeds from within an OS environment, is also present on both models.

A decent, if unspectacular, specification that's geared more towards a competitive price than a fully-laden feature-set.