It is an interesting market trend that to make a budget or entry level motherboard you have to make it in the Micro ATX form factor. We have seen this more and more often. While it is true that not everyone follows this, it has become more common over the last few years. The Foxconn A88GM Deluxe is a Micro ATX based product and follows the typical lines on the surface.
Although the A88GM Deluxe is Micro ATX, Foxconn has made sure to give you four full DDR3 slots. They also opted for solid capacitors and solid chokes. The heatsinks are stylized and meant to look good and cool at the same time (we will test this later).
Taking a look at the image below we see that the chokes are not lined up very well. They are in a very crooked line here; we are not sure if this will affect performance in anyway, but it does make us wonder about the precision in their manufacturing process. The 8-Pin Aux power socket is unusually unobstructed. In this shot you can also see a 4-pin fan header at the corner of the AM3 socket mounting bracket. This fan header was difficult to use with our large Hyper 212 as it was almost directly under the heatsink.
The lower "half" of the board contains a single PCIe x1 slot, the obligatory PCIe x16 slot and two PCI 2.0 slots. One of the PCI slots will be useless if you chose to drop a dual height GPU.
Here we find an odd number of SATA 3.0 ports. Instead of the usual six, we find only five. We also get a glimpse of three of the USB 2.0 headers on the board and the small heatsink to keel the SB850 cool.
Taking a look at the I/O ports we find a VGA, DVI, and HDMI port. Now look closely at the DVI Port. It is a DVI-D port, this means that many of the cables that are floating around will not work with it. In fact we had an issue with our KVM, the cables there are both Dual Link DVI-I (capable of both analog and digital) because of the four pins around the single blade it would not fit. We had to use an HDMI to DVI adapter. This was (and is) annoying to put it mildly.
The Foxconn A88GM Deluxe has a fairly decent layout and for a Micro ATX board is pretty clean. We were not happy about the DVI-D connector but, as most things are moving toward digital only we suppose it was only a matter of time before that happened.
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