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Foxconn's 755A01-6EKRS motherboard

Cheap thrills, few frills

Price (street)$87

DESPITE A COMPETITIVE feature set and generally impressive performance, SiS's 755 chipset for Athlon 64 processors is a rare bird in the wild and even less common in enthusiast circles. The chipset is most commonly found on inexpensive motherboards that tend to lack many of the features and options that enthusiasts have come to expect from the Athlon 64 platform. However, at least one SiS 755 motherboard has aspirations that reach beyond the usual: Foxconn's 755A01-6EKRS.

The 755A01-6EKRS may have one of the most awkward names around, but don't let that discourage you. With Gigabit Ethernet, two Serial ATA RAID options, and a generally tweak-friendly BIOS, the 755A01 serves up plenty of perks for less than $90. Can this budget wonder keep up with more expensive and established Athlon 64 offerings? Read on to find out.

The specs
Before we take a pictorial tour around the 755A01, let's take a peek at the board's full spec sheet.

CPU supportSocket 754-based Athlon 64 processors
Form factorATX
North bridgeSiS755
South bridgeSiS964
InterconnectMuTIOL  (1.06GB/sec)
PCI slots5 32-bit/33MHz
AGP slots1 AGP 4X/8X (1.5V only)
Memory3 184-pin DIMM sockets
Maximum of 3GB of DDR266/333/400 SDRAM
Storage I/OFloppy disk
2 channels ATA/133
2 channels Serial ATA 150 via SiS964 south bridge with RAID 0,1 support
2 channels Serial ATA 150 via Sil 3112 SATA RAID controller with RAID 0, 1 support
Audio6-channel audio via SiS964  integrated audio and ALC655 codec
Ports1 PS/2 keyboard
1 PS/2 mouse
2 serial
USB 2.0 with headers for 4 more
1  IEEE 1394 port via VT6307 Firewire controller
1 RJ45 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet via Realtek RTL8110S

1 front out
1 bass/center out (shared with line in)
1 rear out (shared with mic in)
BIOSPhoenix AwardBIOS
Bus speedsCPU: 200-232MHz in 1MHz increments
Bus dividersSRC/ZCLK/AGP/PCI: 100/133/66/33, 100/150/75/37, 100/133/80/40
MonitoringVoltage, fan status, and temperature monitoring

In terms of features and peripherals, the 755A01 doesn't bring anything new to the table. What makes the board impressive is the fact that it's sporting Gigabit Ethernet and two Serial ATA RAID options for under $90. Throw in a little Firewire and some six-channel audio, and the 755A01 touches every peripheral base except ATA/133 RAID.