The Foxconn A9DA-S uses another flavour of the AMI BIOS. This along with Award are probably the two most common BIOS templates on the market (although I am still seeing Phoenix from time to time).
For the overclocker or for anyone that wants to tinker with performance, you will want to hang out in the Foxconn Central Control Unit pages. In particular, you will want to be in the Fox Intelligent Stepping and Voltage Options area.
Although I like the rest of the board, I was not overly happy with the way the overclocking options were setup. I do not like using voltage offsets. I prefer to simply input the number I want and go.
The CPU Configuration page is something of a letdown. I was expecting all sorts of options on this page and only saw options for Cool N Quiet and C1E Support.
The Advanced Chipset Page was much more interesting with all of the settings for both your system memory and the IGP (with the exception of GPU Clock speed) present in a handy little spot.
Overclocking features are present on just about every board these days. I took a look at a server based motherboard and found that even it had options for tweaking performance that you would not normally see in an enterprise class product. However, even though almost everyone has overclocking capabilities, not every manufacturer does it right.
As I mentioned above in the BIOS section, the Foxconn method for overclocking settings are not the best that I have seen. They are a little awkward, especially for someone new to overclocking.
In the end we were not able to get much more out of our new C3 Stepping Phenom II X4 965 than we did on GIGABYTE's 890GX with a top clock of 4.08GHz (240 x 17). Anything over this caused all of our highly threaded applications to fail.
You can see the validation for our overclocking here.
*** Note: CPU-Z still shows the chipsets incorrectly as well as the DX version. The NB is the 890GX and the SB is the SB850. DX version is still only 10.1***
Also with the inclusion of overclocking for the masses comes the rush of Windows based overclocking tools. The Foxconn ones are a little hard on the eyes to be perfectly honest.
This aesthetic issue did not stop them from working, or providing all the information about our overclocked A9DA-S (even if you did have a headache after looking at it).
As all overclocking results are dependent on the hardware you use, your results may vary. Results of our overclocking tests are included in the performance section with the stock scores.
Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking or as new BIOS updates are released. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.
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