Foxconn A7GM-S review

Price when reviewed

The compact Foxconn A7GM-S is one of two microATX boards in this group. That means it will fit in either a standard ATX case or a compact chassis, but inevitably it has fewer expansion options than a full-sized board.

Foxconn A7GM-S review

That isn’t to say it’s crippled: its single PCI Express x16 slot is fine unless you demand multi-GPU performance, and non-gamers won’t need a graphics card at all thanks to the onboard Radeon HD 3200 IGP, which drives rear-mounted VGA, DVI and HDMI connectors.

This GPU isn’t as powerful as the HD 3300 found on the MSI and Sapphire boards, but in practice that hardly matters: neither chip is up to running modern 3D games, and if all you need is everyday desktop computing, the 3200 has more than enough juice. It can even decode Blu-ray video, so you can run HD media with a lightweight CPU.

Round the back, feature-squeeze is more evident. The A7GM-S offers only four rear-mounted USB ports, and there’s no eSATA or FireWire – nor even internal headers to add them.

Still, the BIOS does offer decent overclocking features, and the board’s six SATA ports support a range of RAID modes including JBOD, which spans drives of different sizes into one convenient volume. Although it lacks onboard controls and displays, that’s only to be expected in a board of this size and price.

It’s also good to see four DIMM sockets, as many other microATX boards (including those in this month’s Socket 775 category) have only two. Each slot will take DIMMs of up to 2GB, for a maximum of 8GB of RAM.

Running on internal graphics, the board drew an appealingly low 78W when idle. This doesn’t make it the most economical choice for an AMD system – that’s the Gigabyte – but it’s a significant saving compared with those boards that need an external graphics card.

The A7GM-S supports socket AM3 processors, so there’s an upgrade path for the foreseeable future. However, if you’re looking to build a fully featured PC, it could be constricting. The MSI or Gigabyte boards will give your system more scope to grow.

Still, if you’re just looking for a no-frills desktop, the Foxconn’s simplicity is a breath of fresh air – as is its comparatively low price.


Motherboard form factormicro ATX
Motherboard integrated graphicsyes


Processor/platform brand (manufacturer)AMD
Processor socketAM2+
Motherboard form factormicro ATX
Memory typeDDR2
Multi-GPU supportyes


Motherboard chipsetAMD 780G
South bridgeAMD SB700
Number of Ethernet adapters1
Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
Graphics chipsetATI Radeon HD 3200
Audio chipsetRealtek ALC888GR

Onboard Connectors

CPU power connector type4-pin
Main power connectorATX 24-pin
Memory sockets total4
Internal SATA connectors6
Internal PATA connectors1
Internal floppy connectors1
Conventional PCI slots total2
PCI-E x16 slots total1
PCI-E x8 slots total0
PCI-E x4 slots total0
PCI-E x1 slots total1

Rear ports

PS/2 connectors2
USB ports (downstream)4
FireWire ports0
eSATA ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks6
Parallel ports0
9-pin serial ports0
Extra port backplane bracket ports0

Diagnostics and tweaking

Motherboard onboard power switch?no
Motherboard onboard reset switch?no
Software overclocking?yes


SATA cables supplied1
Molex to SATA adaters supplied1
IDE cables supplied1
Floppy cables supplied1

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