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Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H P965 Express Core 2 Duo Motherboard Review

Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H P965 Express Core 2 Duo Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: The Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H is one of least expensive P965 Express motherboards out there. Onboard goodies include a PCI Express x1-based Gigabit network card and an Intel Azalia High Definition 7.1 channel audio codec.
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Foxconn Oct 03 2006   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H

Intel has really turned up the heat on AMD with its 'Conroe' architecture. The Core 2 Duo processor not only outperforms the Athlon64 X2 5000+ and FX-62, it's also about to get beefier in the very new future! Intel is expected to release the 'Kensfield' core, or Core 2 Quad processors in the first quarter of 2007! The Core 2 Quad is expected to be monster CPU, compatible with the high end 975X and mainstream P965 Express chipsets, whether manufacturers have to tweak the BIOS a little first is note completely known. Regardless, boards based on the P965 Express chipset will enable you to jump onboard quadzilla, and that kind of upgradability makes everyone happy in the long run.

Elsewhere on the Intel front, ATi, which was recently acquired by AMD, still has close ties to chipzilla and has announced that its dual videocard CrossFire system will work on the P965 Express chipset... in theory. This gives Intel badly needed dual videocard support to compete against AMD in the ever important high end gaming sector - on its own chipsets, and not just nVidia's nForce 500-series Intel Edition. Now if motherboard manufacturers would release a P965 Express motherboard with two physical PCI Express x16 slots... but I digress.

Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H's motherboard offers a good mix of performance and value for the Intel Pentium D or Core 2 Duo microprocessor. The board itself retails for a reasonable price of $118 CDN ($106 US, £55GBP), but comes with scant little in terms of bundled in accessories. The P9657AA-8KS2H is best suited to the Core 2 Duo processor, so in this review PCSTATS will be testing it with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 CPU.

The Intel motherboard market is very hot right now and motherboard manufacturers are flooding it with all types of Core 2 Duo compatible boards. From high end to entry level, there's something for you no matter what your budget. \

Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H Motherboard

Includes:

Driver CD, Hardware Installation Guidebook, Ultra/133 IDE Cable, Floppy Cable, Four Serial ATA Cable, SATA power cable, I/O Shield.

The Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H is one of least expensive P965 Express motherboards out there. Onboard goodies include a PCI Express x1-based Gigabit network card and an Intel Azalia High Definition 7.1 channel audio codec. Upgrades are possible through a PCI Express x1, x4 and x16 slot, and three 32 bit PCI slots. You can install a maximum of 8GB of DDR2-800 memory into the system while running in a dual channel configuration, and the motherboard supports all Socket 775 processors, from the lowly Celeron D to the flagship Core 2 Extreme and can run with FSB's of 533, 800 and 1066 MHz.

There are four internal Serial ATA II channels along with a single external eSATA port for high bandwidth storage devices. Foxconn tackles the missing IDE support issue by integrating a single channel Jmicron 'JMB361' IDE controller (not RAID) onto the PCB. The Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H supports a maximum of 10 USB slots however only four are ready to use out of the box. Both the P965 Express and ICH8 chipsets are passively cooled with compact aluminum heatsinks so you're advised to maintain consistent system airflow to keep chipset temperatures in check. On the plus side, the Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H is absolutely silent during operation. ;-)

Foxconn's P9657AA-8KS2H is full ATX size (300 x 244 mm) motherboard so you'll want to install it into a good sized mid or full tower PC chassis, say like the Asus Vento 3600. The layout of the board is well thought out, the majority of ports and headers are located near the edge of the PCB where hands have easier access. Foxconn could have done a better job at labelling the Clear CMOS jumper though, in the dark of an installed case identifying is difficult.

The P9657AA-8KS2H motherboard with a mix of solid and electrolytic capacitors. Considering the motherboard's relatively low price this isn't much of a surprise, solid capacitors are more expensive and the cost of the motherboard would have to increase if Foxconn went that route. Still Foxconn's reliability as a manufacturer is very high, and it's using high quality electrolytic capacitors like Rubycon and Lelon brands. If you haven't read up on the problem of burst and leaking capacitors, PCSTATS has some info on the issue here.

Next up we'll look at FoxONE's technology and the miracle that is external SATA...

© 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H
 Pg 1.  — Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H P965 Express Core 2 Duo Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  FoxONE and External SATA
 Pg 3.  Intel P965 Express and ICH8 chipsets
 Pg 4.  The Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 5.  P965 Express and Core 2 Duo Overclocking
 Pg 6.  Test System Specs / Sysmark 2004
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Sandra 2005, Super Pi
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: PCMark05
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: 3DMark06, FarCry
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 13.  Conclusions: Intel Core 2 Value all the way?

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