Foxconn 915A03-P-8EKRS - Page 2

..:: 915A03-P-8EKRS Packaging ::..

As we have yet to deal with a Foxconn branded motherboard up to this point, heading into the review we were a bit stumped as to what we should expect. We took a look through some of Foxconn’s product documentation, and found that overall Foxconn tends to put out solid packages for the cost, though they usually rate around middle of the road. They have some advantages versus other manufacturer packages, as well as some other disadvantages. The main items of necessity are all included, though some might wish for some additional items to be thrown into the mix to further add to the overall value of the product. Let’s see exactly what comes with the 915A03-P-8EKRS, and see how it rates on our scale when the target market and price are factored in.

To start things off, we have the various documentation items for the 915A03-P-8EKRS. In past reviews, we’ve seen manufacturers include board layout diagrams that also feature a fold-out installation guide with them. Foxconn has somewhat gone down this route in that they offer a layout diagram, but there is no fold-out section as far as that topic goes. This item has steadily been making headway into more product packages to give the user one diagram to look at rather than hunting through the manual to find a certain connector or page. Foxconn has also provided two manuals, one for detailing the control over the Serial ATA RAID feature provided by Intel’s ICH6-R Southbridge, and another for the typical tasks of BIOS, Drivers, etc. I have to say, I was very impressed with what I found in the manual. Foxconn has done an outstanding job with the manual for the 915A03-P-8EKRS, as it offers a wide variety of information, not only on the BIOS, but on system setup, as well as background information on each of the connections that are available on the board itself. The only area where some additional material could’ve been added was the install guide. I’d like to see more than just a simple “install CPU, install RAM” section.

As far as hardware related inclusions go, the 915A03-P-8EKRS comes along with a fairly minimal product package, though it is better than other i915x motherboards we’ve dealt with up to this point. We’ve got two Serial ATA data cables, as well as a single Molex power adapter for two Serial ATA devices. There is a single IDE cable for use with the ICH6’s native IDE support, and an additional floppy cable for archaic but still somewhat useful floppy drives. We also have the usual rear I/O panel, as well as an additional expansion bracket featuring two additional USB 2.0 capable ports. Foxconn has also included a rear bracket featuring a S/PDIF RCA connection for use with the HD Audio implementation on the 915A03-P-8EKRS.

Overall, the 915A03-P-8EKRS‘s package is a little better than what we have seen so far from some of the other i915x offerings, but it also comes only with what I would qualify as the bare minimum. From a hardware item standpoint, we were pleased to find all of the required items, and were also happy to see that Foxconn didn’t skimp out of SATA data or power cabling, though with no added IEEE1394 bracket, it left the package feeling a bit dry considering the board supports IEEE1394 devices. The documentation that Foxconn has included is superb. Foxconn has managed to provide a well rounded and detailed look at the capabilities and layout of the 915A03-P-8EKRS, along with a good guide covering software installation.