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Foxconn Digital Life A79A-S review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £185
inc VAT


AM2+, ATX, AMD 790FX chipset, supports: Sempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II

Foxconn’s Digital Life A79A-S is very expensive even for new technology. It has a similar Northbridge chipset to MSI’s DKA790GX Platinum, although its 790FX version doesn’t include a graphics processor.

The A79A-S is well laid out and has plenty of ports, including two Gigabit Ethernet ports that make it easy to connect to two networks or share your internet connection. It has six USB ports plus three headers, a FireWire port and header, and two eSATA ports.

The feature that comes closest to justifying this motherboard’s price is its PCI Express configuration. There are four PCI Express x16 ports, all of which can take graphics cards and, if you use ATI Radeon cards, combine their processing power using CrossFireX. This is expensive though, and a single dual-chip graphics card may produce similar performance for less. As well as providing more graphical power, this arrangement allows you to split your Windows desktop across up to 12 monitors. Less ambitious users can use the slots for any PCI Express card, including sound and network cards. There’s also a PCI Express x1 and a traditional PCI slot.

The A79A-S is a genuinely good motherboard and performed well in our tests, but although it has some innovative features, the best of these will appeal only to a minority of enthusiasts. The prohibitively high price makes this motherboard an uneconomical option compared with MSI’s DKA790GX Platinum.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor socket AM2+
Form factor ATX
Size 244x305mm
Processor support Sempron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Phenom, Phenom II
Processor external bus 266MHz (1,066MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Chipset north bridge AMD 790FX
Chipset south bridge AMD SB750
Passively-cooled north bridge yes
Integrated graphics No
Supported memory type DDR2 533/667/800/1066
Maximum memory speed PC2-8500
Memory slots 4
Maximum memory 8GB
Dual-channel support yes

Buying Information

Price £185

Internal Ports

Power connectors 1x 24-pin ATX, 1x 8-pin ATX
PCI-E x16 slots 4
Dual graphics architecture CrossFireX
PCI-E x4 slots 0
PCI-E x1 slots 1
PCI slots 1
Fan headers 4
Floppy ports 1
IDE ports 1
Serial ATA ports 6
RAID chipset (max disks) AMD SB750 (6x SATA II, RAID 0, 1, 10)


Wired network ports 2x 10/100/1000
Sound (ports) Realtek ALC889A (optical and coaxial S/PDIF, 6x analogue out)
USB2 ports / headers 6/6
Firewire ports / headers 1/1
Legacy ports 2x PS/2, serial header
Other ports 2x eSATA
Cables included 6x SATA, 1x IDE, 1x floppy, 6x Molex to SATA power
Brackets included 2x USB2, 1x 4-pin FireWire
Software included Norton Internet Security

Setup and Overclocking

Voltage adjustment CPU/RAM/Chipset

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