Market Survey, Part 1: A Comparison Of The Latest Pentium 4 Motherboards

Foxconn 925XE7AA (Intel 925XE)

The 925XE7AA designation of the Foxconn board is easy to understand. Potential buyers recognize immediately which chipset has been used.

Board revision: na

BIOS version: October 24, 2004

Foxconn has a long track record as a partner of Intel. That's why it was hardly a surprise that its board worked without any problems, and that the FSB clock speed was right on at 200.0 MHz from the start - no minor forced overclocking here, as with most other makers.

Using the SPD timings, memory performance was 4.8 GB/s, as the CAS latency is a standard four clock cycles. With CL3 the board finally achieved the expected 5 GB/s. In line with Foxconn's mostly conservative product profile, the 925XE7AA offers a range of standard overclocking features that should fit most users' needs. It was not possible to unlock the x14 multiplier of the performance requirement bit. The chipset's potential 266 MHz FSB clock speed thus cannot be utilized to this effect, the only remaining application being the extremely pricey Pentium 4 Extreme Edition.

To prevent interference from other hardware, we turned off all components not needed for the benchmarking test runs. Unfortunately, ITE's 8212F IDE controller would not allow itself to be deactivated. You can do quite well without the Northbridge fan; we removed it and had no problems at all using passive cooling.

We found the number of fan connections to be a bit too spartan. Besides the CPU fan, only one other fan can be run directly above the motherboard, which is definitely not enough for an LGA 775 system.

The included hardware, on the other hand, is substantial. Besides the ITE controller for UltraATA/133 already mentioned, there's a Silicon Image Sil3114 with four SATA connections. Foxconn went ahead and put two Broadcom chips for Gigabit Ethernet on the board, and it's also one of few boards with three x1 PCIe slots. Rounding it all out is a Firewire controller, allowing the hook-up of video and memory devices.

Foxconn 925X7AA (Rev. unknown)
Platform Socket LGA775
Northbridge Intel 925XE
Southbridge Intel ICH6R
BIOS (10/24/2004)
Memory DDRII-400 and 533
Connectors onboard/panel
USB 2.0 4 / 4
IEEE1394/Firewire 1 / 2
Serial COM Port 1 / none
Parallel LPT Port 1 / none
Game none / none
LAN 2 / none
WLAN none / none
SATA 8 / none
Audio analog 8 / none
Audio digital 1 / 1
Connectors onboard only
PCIe 16x 1
PCIe 1x 3
IDE (PATA) 3 (6 channels)
Fan 4 pins (CPU) 1
Fan 3 pins (System) 1
Mass Storage Controller
ICH6R 2x IDE (ATA100)
4x SATA (RAID 0,1,0+1)
ITE 8212F IDE RAID 2x IDE (ATA133 RAID 1,0,0+1)
Silicon Image 3114 CT 4x SATA (RAID 0,1,0+1, JBOD)
Broadcom BCM5789KFB PCIe 1x 1 Gbit/s LAN
Broadcom BCM5789KFB PCIe 1x 1 Gbit/s LAN
Realtek ALC880 5.1 AC97
TSB82AA2 1x 1394b (800 Mbit/s)
2x 1394a (400 Mbit/s)
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