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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Monday, October 02, 2006
Foxconn C51XEM2AA Motherboard

1. Introduction

AMD's AM2 socket has become very popular, especially after the recent drop in price for all AMD Athlon X2 processors. Foxconn, a well known motherboard manufacturer, had already made quite a good impression with their 975X model for Intel CPUs, and was now making another proposal for enthusiast users, the C51XEM2AA motherboard, for the AM2 socket.

In this review, apart from looking at the Foxconn motherboard, we will also be comparing it with the ASUS W2N32WS Pro, another popular motherboard for this category.

- Foxconn C51XEM2AA-8EKRS2H

The Foxconn C51XEM2AA is based on Nvidia's nForce 590 SLI chipset, which supports extreme overclocking and of course, SLI mode. The board supports AMD socket AM2 dual-core Athlon 64 FX/Athlon 64 X2 and single-core Athlon 64/Sempron processors with 2MB/1MB/512KB L2 cache, which are based on 64-bit architecture. It features 2000/1600 MT/s HyperTransport Bus, dual-channel un-buffered DDR2 800 memory support and AMD Cool 'n' Quiet! Technology.

Engineered for Enthusiasts

NVIDIA nForce® 590 SLITM media and communication processors (MCPs) deliver the tools and performance enthusiasts demand. When combined with select NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards and other system components, you get automatic access to faster bus speeds. Ready for system overclocking and greater data throughput.

NVIDIA LinkBoost Technology
NVIDIA nForce 590 MCP automatically increases bandwidth when selected NVIDIA
GeForce® graphics cards are detected.

NVIDIA® SLI-Ready components
Look for other components including memory modules that are optimized for use with NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP motherboards for maximum performance. These components automatically run at faster bus speeds and are ready for overclocking.

Designed for NVIDIA® SLI Technology
NVIDIA SLI Technology is a revolutionary platform innovation that allows users to intelligently scale graphics performance by combining multiple NVIDIA graphics solutions in a single system with an NVIDIA nForce SLI MCP.

2x16 PCI-E SLI Support
Two full-bandwidth, 16-lane PCI Express links ensure maximum graphics performance for next-generation GPUs and games. Offers twice the PCI Express bandwidth of X8 SLI solutions.

NVIDIA MediaShield Storage
Suite of features that safeguards your most important digital media assets; always reliable, scalable, and accessible. Includes RAID and SATA drive support.

Multiple Disk Setup
Through a simple wizard-based interface, you can effortlessly set up your drives for better data protection, faster disk access or maximum storage capacity. MediaShield automatically selects RAID 0, 1, 0+1 or 5 configuration according to your needs. Advanced users can access RAID options directly.

DiskAlert System
The event of a disk failure, MediaShield users see an image that highlights which disk has failed to make it easier to identify, replace, and recover.

RAID Morphing
MediaShield allows users to change their current RAID set-up to another configuration in a one-step process called morphing. This eliminates the need to back up data and follow multiple steps in the process.

Bootable Multidisk Array
MediaShield storage fully supports the use of multi-disk array for loading the operating system at power-up.

Six SATA 3Gb/s Drives
Combine up to 6 SATA drives into one volume for bigger, faster RAID. More drives mean more configuration options such as 6 RAID 0 (striped) drives for maximum throughput, or Dual RAID 5 arrays. Take advantage of the latest SATA-2, 3Gb/s hard disk drives with full support for native and tagged command queuing and hot plug. Native command queuing provides higher disk performance in a multi-threaded environment by performing out-of-order disk accesses.

Networking with NVIDIA nForce
NVIDIA networking delivers the highest network throughput at the lowest CPU utilization. The manageable and stable NVIDIA networking solution results in better networking management and a lower total cost of ownership. Only NVIDIA integrates this level of networking features to allow you to take your online experience to the next level.

NVIDIA Native Gigabit Ethernet
The industry’s fastest Gigabit Ethernet performance eliminates network bottlenecks and improves overall system efficiency and performance.

NVIDIA FirstPacket™ technology
Be the ‘King of Ping’ with NVIDIA FirstPacket technology. Get the crystal-clear phone conversations and online gaming performance you expect. NVIDIA FirstPacket technology assures your game data, VoIP conversations, and large file transfers are delivered according to
preferences set by you in an intuitive wizard.

NVIDIA DualNet® technology
Get Double-Barrel Gigabit Ethernet with two integrated networking connections on your NVIDIA nForce 500 series MCP.

Dual Gigabit Ethernet with Teaming
Teaming allows the two connection to work together to provide up to twice the Ethernet bandwidth for transferring large amounts of data from home file servers to other PCs. It also provides network redundancy through fail-over capability.

TCP/IP Acceleration
Delivers the highest system performance by offloading CPU intensive packet filtering tasks in hardware, providing users with a PC networking environment that is faster.

NVIDIA nTune™ 4.0 Utility
Now with access to more settings from this Windows-based utility. NVIDIA nTune performance manager allows automatic tuning for optimal performance and the ability to customize. Once configured, nTune automatically chooses the right system settings for the application that is being run based on your saved profiles and personal rules.

High Definition Audio (HDA)
High definition audio brings consumer electronics quality sound to the PC delivering high quality sound from multiple channels. Using HDA, systems can deliver 192 kHz/32-bit quality for eight channels, supporting new audio formats.

USB 2.0
A standard plug-and-play interface that provides easy-to-use connectivity for USB devices.

- Full specifications

Processor: AMD Sempron™, Athlon™ 64, Athlon™ 64x2, Athlon™ 64FX processors,
Socket AM2
Chipset: NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI
Front Side Bus: 2000 MT/s HyperTransport™
Memory: Dual channel DDR2 800 / 667 / 533 x 4 DIMMs, Max 8GB
VGA on Die: N/A
Expansion Slots: 2 x PCIe x16, 1 x PCIe x4, 1 x PCIe x1, 2 x PCI
IDE: ATA133 x 1
Serial ATA(SATA)/RAID: Serial ATA II x 6 with RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 5, JBOD
Audio: 7.1+2 channel, Realtek ALC882D (HDA)
LAN: Marvell 88E1121 Dual 10/100/1000 Base T Ethernet PHY
IEEE1394: 1394a x 2 (TSB82AA2B), 1394b x 1 (TSB81BA3)
Back Panel I/O Ports: 1 x PS/2 keyboard
1 x PS/2 mouse
1 x 1394a
1 x 1394b
6 x USB 2.0
2 x RJ45
1 set 7.1 channel Audio jacks (5 jacks + 1 S/PDIF output)
Internal I/O Connectors: 2 x USB 2.0 headers, support 4 ports
1 x Front audio header
1 x COM
1 x Speaker
1 x Front panel
1 x Buzzer
1 x 1394a
BIOS Features: LPC-4Mb, ACPI 2.0b, APM 1.2, PnP 1.0a, SMBIOS 2.3, USB 2.0, WfM 2.0
Support CD: NVIDIA nForce Driver, DirectX, Audio Driver, Adobe Reader, Norton Internet Security, Manual & Raid Manual, NVIDIA nTune, Foxconn LiveUpdate
Standards/Manageability: USB 2.0, WfM 2.0, DMI 2.0, WOL by PME, LPC 1.1 Interface
Special Features: NVIDIA®LinkBoost™ technology, SLI™-Ready, MediaShield storage™ technology, HDA, NVIDIA nTune, NCQ, AMD® Cool “n” Quiet™ technology,Fox LiveUpdate, QuadSLi support
Form Factor: ATX (12" x 9.6")

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