Hardware Technology

Foxconn A79A-S: A reprieve?

Foxconn technical support finally came through, and sent me Beta BIOS S02 for the troubled A79A-S. This finally allows memory to run at 1066MHz, albeit with greatly increased timings, well above the speed that the memory is capable of.

In addition, selecting any of the BIOS memory options which would previously hard-lock the machine until the CMOS was reset or the battery removed now simply corrupt the CMOS. This does mean that these options are still unusable, but at least you don’t have to crack open your case to discover this.

HD Audio does work in Windows unless the “NP NB-SB VC1 Traffic Support” option is enabled, when every flavour of Windows (XP SP2, XP SP3, Vista, Windows Server 2008 with Audio enabled) freezes on login.

USB keyboards of all variety still randomly aren’t initialised correctly on about one boot in three, and remain unusable in spite of repeated unplug/replug cycles using different on-board/off-board sockets until a reboot.

In short, better – but there’s still a very long way to go before I’d consider this board suitable for sale to even the technically-savvy general public.

2 replies on “Foxconn A79A-S: A reprieve?”

I’m running 6 of the Foxconn A79A-S boards and haven’t had any of the problems you mention. 2 of them have 3 GPUs installed, the other 3 have 2. 4 have a mixed ATI / NVidia GPU environment. I’ve set all memory settings manually although I always use 1066 memory at 800 on all MBs since I see no appreciable performance increase at 1066 due to longer latency (running scientific apps on all 6 MBs). All are running X6 processors and all have the last official (09) BIOS installed. I believe you must have a bad board. The warranty should be 3 years so I’d check that route. All 6 of these boards have been rock solid since installation. USB keyboards & mice work perfectly, even have used both USB & PS2 mice at the same time with no problem. One even doubles as a HTPC with 2 different USB windows media controllers installed in addition to the normal KB/mouse. All are currently running Win7-64 but also worked fine on XP-64. Again I’d try the RMA route for your MB. Sorry if this is a very old post, the Google date comes up as 10/22/11, don’t see a date above.

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