Foxconn has really come quite a long way in a relatively short life time of producing retail motherboards under their own brand name. Designing budget boards may have been their first intentions, but now they have starting to make motherboards that you can really consider to be a high grade contender when it comes to great performance and even overclocking as we saw in this review of their nForce 680i motherboard.
While the Foxconn N68S7AA-8EKRS2H motherboard seems quite similar to most other nForce 680i motherboards on the market, it's evident that quite a lot of engineering thought as gone into this product with inclusions such as active chipset cooling for the hot operating nForce 680i chipsets. As we saw in our overclocking testing, we managed to attain an impressive 507MHz FSB from the board which is only slightly less than the more expensive ASUS Striker Extreme and quite a bit better than most other nForce 680i reference based boards. We can more than likely attribute the impressive overclocking success to the added thought by Foxconn put into very effective cooling.
While the lack of the extra 2 phases of power regulation on the CPU has been made, it didn't affect our Core 2 Extreme X6800 CPU, however, a Quad Core or Pentium Extreme series could see some down sides in overclocking with stability possibly being compromised. Chances are though if you are buying this motherboard you won't be using an older and more power hungry Intel processor, so all should be good but just something to keep in mind.
Despite this we are very happy with Foxconn's N68S7AA-8EKRS2H nForce 680i motherboard and have no problems recommending it for your new Core 2 system. Keeping in mind C2D + 680i is not a cheap platform to begin with but pricing should also end up being quite comparatively attractive too, only slightly more expensive than reference 680i motherboards from companies. Foxconn are onto a good thing here and while it's not the most impressive motherboard we have tested recently, it gets out thumbs up.
Dual full-speed PCI Express x16 slots
Extra PCI Express x16 slot for physics
e.SATA for fast external storage
Great overclocking and very effectively cooling setup
Fast and stable
Rounded IDE and FDD cables for better case airflow
Great pricing considering the included extras
Extra USB 2.0 and Firewire headers
Less power phases may cause issues for older Intel processors
Installation documentation lacking
Rating - 9 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Best Value Award