The Foxconn P9657AB-8KS2H is the latest proposal from Foxconn for Intel Core2Duo users. Intel's P965Express chipset has proved its effectiveness and performance margins and is being used by many end users. This board supports all currently sold Intel 775 socket processors - Intel® Core™ 2 Duo/ Intel® Pentium® D/Intel® Pentium® 4/ Intel® Celeron® D processor.
In almost all tests, the Foxconn P9657AB was found to be slower than the Asus P5B Deluxe. In many cases, this is because the Asus P5B Deluxe can set the memory with a higher divider (1:2~533MHz), while the P9657AB can only manage 400MHz. There were cases where the P9657AB had better performance, but it cannot compete with the Asus P5B Deluxe, especially in RAM bandwidth.
Passing to the board itself, the overall design is good. There is plenty of free space around the CPU area, allowing for installation of larger cooling systems. There's also IDE and floppy connections and four SATA II connectors for HDD and optical storage devices.
In our overclocking attempts, the board proved to be overclockable, despite the fact that it doesn't have as many options as the Asus P5B Deluxe does. We managed to reach a top FSB of 330FSB without any voltage tweaks and 9x Internal CPU multiplier. Unfortunately, you cannot set (and lower) the CPU internal multiplier as with most other boards which makes life much easier. With CPUs like the E6600 and on, this could be an issue, but with the E6300 this doesn't apply. We believe that the ceiling with this board is around ~350FSB, which is not that impressive for this category. If overclocking fails, most times the system won't POST and you have to clear the CMOS, rather annoying for enthusiast users.
Ending our presentation, we have no major complaints with the stability of the Foxconn P9657AB-8KS2H motherboard. Entry level users, for an estimated cost of ~€110 can buy a motherboard that supports Crossfire, is based on Intel's P965Express chipset and has official "Vista "support. Overclocking is possible, but not exactly what we were dreaming of...