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Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H 975X Express Motherboard Review

Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H 975X Express Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: From what you're about to see of this Intel 975X Express based Foxconn motherboard running with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor, this bright red platform could be the makings of one very nice workstation computer!
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Foxconn Oct 25 2006   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H 975X

Intel's 975X Express Chipset

The Intel 975X Express is Intel's flagship desktop and workstation chipset. Early revisions of i975X motherboards were only compatible with Intel Pentium 4/D processors, however the new generation of 975X Express-based boards support Intel Core 2 Duo.

Intel has tweaked the 975X Express somewhat to incorporate support of DDR2-800 memory, which is a nice treat for a core logic that runs on the 1066/800MHz FSB. The Intel 975X Express chipset is paired up with the ICH7-series Southbridge, an older model, but one which supports four Serial ATA II channels along with a single IDE port for two devices. The Southbridge found on the Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H motherboard is the ICH7R version, and the R designates its inclusion of RAID modes 0, 1, 0+1 and 5 for SATA hard drives.

DDR2-800 MHz memory support positions Intel's latest and greatest CPU at par with AMD's Socket AM2 Athlon64 processors. Intel calls the new memory controller FMA or 'Fast Memory Access', and it allows the system a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 12.8GB/s. Below is breakdown on the full feature set of the Intel 975 / 965 Express series chipsets, including the 975X Express which the Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H motherboard is based upon.

Intel 975 / 965 / 955 Series Chipset Feature Breakdown
Intel 975X Express Intel P965 Express Intel Q965 Express Intel G965 Express Intel Q963 Express Intel 955X Express
CPU LGA775 Core 2 Duo LGA775 Core 2 Duo LGA775 Core 2 Duo LGA775 Core 2 Duo LGA775 Core 2 Duo LGA775 Pentium D
Front Side Bus (FSB) 1066/800 MHz 1066/800/533 MHz 1066/800/533 MHz
2 threads
1066/800/533 MHz 1066/800/533 MHz 1066/800MHz
Intel Flex Memory Technology Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dual Channel Memory Support DDR2 800/667/533 DDR2 800/667/533 DDR2 667/533 DDR2 667 DDR2 667 DDR2 667/533
Maximum Memory Capacity 8GB 8GB 8GB 8GB 8GB 8GB
Integrated Graphics - - GMA 3000 GMA 3000 GMA 3000 -
PCI Express x16 2 1 1 1 1 1
PCI Express x1 4 4 4 4 4 4
Intel Matrix Storage Technology Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
SATA/IDE HDD 4/1 6/0 6/0 6/0 6/0 4/1
SATA Speed 3Gb/s 3Gb/s 3Gb/s 3Gb/s 3Gb/s 3Gb/s
RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 (with ICH7R) 0, 1, 5, 10 (with ICH7R/ICH8R) 0, 1, 5, 10 (with ICH8R) 0, 1, 5, 10 (with ICH8R) 0, 1, 5, 10 (with ICH8R) 0, 1, 5, 10 (with ICH7R)
Hard Drive NCQ - Yes Yes Yes Yes -
USB 2.0 Ports 8 8 10 10 10 8
PCI Masters 6 6 6 6 6 6
Audio High Definition Audio (Azalia) High Definition Audio (Azalia) High Definition Audio (Azalia) High Definition Audio (Azalia) High Definition Audio (Azalia) High Definition Audio (Azalia)

The Intel 975X chipset supports two physical PCI Express x16 videocards, although when dual videocard are configured the PCI Express x16 data bus is split evenly between them. The 975X Express chipset is compatible with ATi CrossFire Edition videocard, so you can have dual ATi Radeon videocards rendering at the same time if you feel the need for enhanced gaming. If you're only using a single PCI Express x16 videocard, insert it into the green slot on the Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H PCB.

A dedicated 2GB/s I/O bus connects the Intel 975X Express Northbridge and Intel ICH7R Southbridge together. It might seem a tad tight if you have many high bandwidth devices installed, but should be just fine for the average user.

The ICH7R Southbridge incorporates four Serial ATA II channels with RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, a 7.1 channel Intel Azalia high definition audio codec, eight USB 2.0 slots, six PCI Express x1 lanes and an integrated Intel Gigabit MAC which runs through the PCI Express bus.

It's important to note that the ICH7-series of Southbridges support a single Parallel IDE channel. The latest Intel ICH8 chipset does away with parallel IDE support completely. A block chart of the Intel 975X Express chipset's major features is illustrated below.

Next up, PCSTATS takes a closer look at the Foxconn P9657AA-8KS2H motherboard highlights...

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Contents of Article: Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H 975X
 Pg 1.  Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H 975X Express Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Accessories in the Box - Good Stuff?
 Pg 3.  — Intel's 975X Express Chipset
 Pg 4.  Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H Motherboard Highlights
 Pg 5.  Foxconn 975X Overclocking
 Pg 6.  Test System Specs / Sysmark 2004
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: Office Productivity, SiSoft Sandra
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: SuperPi, PCMark05
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: 3DMark06, FarCry
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: Doom 3, Quake 4
 Pg 12.  Desktop or workstation, take your pick...

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