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Foxconn G33M motherboard - Intel GMA3100

By: Cameron Johnson | Socket LGA 775 in Motherboards | Posted: Aug 30, 2007 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 70%Manufacturer: Foxconn

The Board



On to the actual board now, and despite the package's shortcomings, the board itself is extremely well designed; its layout and placement of the onboard connectors is exteremly clean.


The 24-pin power connector along with the single IDE slot are located behind the four DDR2 memory slots on the top right hand side of the board. The 4-pin AUX power connector is located at the top left of the board behind the PS/2 port tower, this is certainly one of the best places for this connector on a compact board. The four SATA data ports are located near the bottom right of the board next to the heatsink covering the ICH9 southbridge.



The power regulation system for the Foxconn G33M is quite small, only a 3 phase digital VRM setup is used. This means that the board is not going to be an overclockers delight, especially if you're looking at running a Netburst based CPU who's power requirements are extremely high. A 3 phase voltage system for these CPUs doesn't really cut it, so another black mark against the Foxconn board.



The Rear ports are quite dull. First off there are no DVI or HDMI ports on the board, this is strictly an 'office use only' onboard graphics system, not a HTPC or Digital PC setup. Only a CRT port for VGA-out is included as part of the onboard graphics system. While the GMA3100 can support HDMI and DVI out, they are absent from this board. Foxconn has however added extra USB ports to the rear of the board; instead of the traditional four you get six, and the remaining six are through headers on the board.



Lastly to the expansion slots on the board. While having an onboard graphics system, you don't have to use it if you don't want to. A single PCI Express x16 slot is included for you to run your own discrete graphics system which doesn't suck its memory from the main system memory (unless you get a Hyper memory ATI or Turbocache NVIDIA card). For the additional expansion you get a single PCI Express x1 slot and two PCI slots.


Since the ICH8 and 9 series of southbridge's have done away with IDE ports you need to have an additional chip to gain IDE support. JMicron's PCI Express based SATA/IDE controller is included. One of the biggest gripes here is that the two SATA ports this chip supports go to waste; we would have liked to see them used as e.SATA ports on the back.


As for the Firewire support, a Texas Instruments PCI based IEEE1394a chip gives you two Firewire ports.


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