Foxconn 975X7AB-8EKRS2H - Page 3

..:: 975X7AB-8EKRS2H Layout: CPU ::..

Now that we’ve had a chance to examine the product package, it’s time we took a good look at the board design and layout scheme. As far as an initial overview of the motherboard goes, the 975X7AB-8EKRS2H comes with the red PCB flavor that Foxconn has been utilizing on their high performance products, although unlike previous models with black DIMM and PCI-E slots for accents, Foxconn has melded the yellow and blue coloration into the 975X7AB-8EKRS2H. I still prefer the cleaner, less colorful look of the 925XE product seen many months ago. That product had the clean black and white setup that meshed well with the rounded black cables and other accessories.

The Socket T has been oriented lengthwise from East to West across the board, the most typical layout that we’ve seen on all i9xx motherboards. Near the Socket T, Foxconn has moved all major electrical components outside of the processor’s “keep-out” zone. This helps the board achieve a much higher level of compatibility with large, high performance heatsink solutions.

You’ll notice that there aren’t any massive inductors or capacitors. This is because Foxconn has moved to a Digital PWM core voltage supply. This is an all digital power supply that can be integrated with far fewer components, as well as having the additional benefit of providing much more board room for implementation of the largest heatsinks available. This is the first board I’ve seen such a feature on, and certainly there is more than enough room for a massive heatsink.

The left hand side of the processor socket, as well as the portion along the top edge of the PCB, houses the core voltage supply electrical components. Here, we find an array of surface mount components, as well as the main electrical control items for the core voltage supply. The eight-pin 12V connector has been placed along the top of the board, near the heatsink for the Digital PWM components. With the exception of these few components, the PCB area surrounding the Socket T is barren, calling for the biggest, baddest heatsink you’ve got.