Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review :: Foxconn NF4SLI7AA

06-20-2006 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Spec Sheet
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Motherboard Photo
Part NumberNF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2
ManufacturerFoxconn
Price CheckFind Best Price
DownloadsBIOS
Drivers
Manuals
ChipsetNvidia nForce4 SLI (LGA775)
North BridgeNvidia nForce4 SLI MCP LGA775
SocketLGA775 Socket
Processor TypesPentium 4, Pentium D, Celeron D
Number of CPUs
Front Side Bus1066/800MHz
Memory TypeDDR2
Memory ChannelsDual
Maximum Memory4GB
External GraphicsPCI Express x16
IGP None
South BridgeNvidia nForce4 SLI MCP
Audio8-channel
IDE133/100/66/33
SCSINone
SATA3.0 GB/s
RAID0, 1
LAN10/100/1000
FirewireIEEE 1394a
USBUSB 2.0
Expansion Slots
BIOSAWARD
Form FactorATX
Motherboard Photo

Intel moved to the Socket LGA-775 platform in the middle of 2004. They released the 925X and 915 chipsets to support the new CPUs. Subsequently they released the 945, 955X, 975X and the 965 chipsets to support new CPUs. NVIDIA's nForce4 for Intel chipset supports all Intel Socket 775 CPUs up to the 8xx series. The 9xx series is not supported but is supported under NVIDIA's new nForce 590 for Intel motherboards.


Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review DIMM slots

DIMM slots


Foxconn outfitted the board with 4 DIMM slots, providing support for up to 4GB of unbuffered non-ECC DDR2 667 memory. Intel motherboards are capable of supporting up to 8GB with a 64-bit operating system, but the NVIDIA chipset supports 4GB with either Windows 32-bit or 64-bit. The memory slots are arranged in colored pairs, allowing the user to install dual-channel memory in like colored slots.


Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review SLI card

SLI card

Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review Molex Connector

Molex Connector

Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review Expansion slots

Expansion slots

Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review PCI Express x16 locks

PCI Express x16 locks

Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review PCI Express x1 slots

PCI Express x1 slots


As an SLI motherboard, the Foxconn board has two PCI Express x16 slots for graphics cards. To enable SLI you need to set the SLI card to SLI mode, insert two NVIDIA graphics cards into the appropiate slots, and the insert the bridge on the "Golden Finger" connector on the top of the NVIDIA graphics cards. There's a Molex connector to provide stable power to the video card located on atop the first PCI Express x1 slot. Note, that installing two cards with 2-slot cooling requires that one of the PCI Express x1 slots and a PCI slot are unoccupied. Also present on the board are two PCI Express x1 slots and two PCI v2.3 compliant slots. The PCI Express x1 slots are one above the first PCI Express x16 slot and one below the first PCI Express x16 slot.


Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review IDE ports

IDE ports

Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review SATA connectors

SATA connectors

Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review Other SATA connectors

Other SATA connectors


SATA devices are becoming more and more prevalent replacing the IDE devices like the hard disk drive and optical drives. The NVIDIA nForce4 for Intel MCP supports 4 SATA2 devices natively, and Foxconn outfitted this board with six connectors for SATA2 drives, including a Silicon Image controller to control the other two. RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and 5 modes are supported by the chip. For those needing IDE devices two connectors are present as well as a Floppy Drive connector.

Onboard audio is controlled by a REALTEK ALC850 CODEC. This is one of the more popular audio chips on the market today. It supports 7.1 Surround Sound, S/PDIF In and Out and a myriad of the sound APIs including DirectSound, A3D 1.0, EAX 1.0 and 2.0 (3.0 and above is not licensed by Creative Labs to any company). The onboard audio is adequate, however, if you're serious about sound I would suggest an Audigy X-Fi card from Creative Labs.


Foxconn NF4SLI7AA-8EKRS2 Motherboard Review Rear Panel I/O

Rear Panel I/O


The rear panel I/O on the board consists of 1 set for the onboard sound (5 jacks), 1 PS/2 keyboard, 1 PS/2 mouse, 1 Parallel port, 1 COM port, 4 USB 2.0 ports, 2 RJ45 jacks for the onboard Gigabit Ethernet, 1 coax S/PDIF and 1 fiber S/PDIF port. I appreciate the fact that Foxconn included 2 RJ45 jacks, as dual Ethernet connections is good for connecting more than one computer to the network. It's also gratifying to see all the audio connectors on the board, as some manufacturers skimp and only include two. Foxconn includes two Marvell PHY controllers to control the Gigabit Ethernet, one on the PCI Express bus, one on the PCI bus. There is also a Texas Instruments controller on the board to control the Firewire ports.