Foxconn p67a-s

Foxconn's P67A-S is a no-nonsense ATX board that doesn't offer much in the way of frills and extras. In fact there is so much free PCB real estate you can hear the tumbleweed blowing through it.

But it does mean all the components have plenty of room around them. The only exception to this is the placing of the passive heatsink over the MOSFETS, which may cause problems with overly large third party coolers because it's pretty close to the CPU socket.

The P67 chipset is also passively cooled, by a small standalone aluminium heatsink.

One surprise is that the board has an IDE port, and while many people will scoff at the idea of it, a great many more will find it a particularly helpful inclusion because there are a lot of people who have yet to make the switch to a SATA-based optical drive.

And some of us still have the odd PATA hard disk drive hanging around, too.

Foxconn p67a-s

On one side of the board is the LED display, which shows the various POST codes while the board boots up and is a useful indicator to show what the problem if the boot process gets stuck.

Or rather, it would be if Foxconn listed the codes in the manual – they certainly weren't there in the one that came with our board.

But to be fair on Foxconn, it's certainly not the only guilty party over this omission in paperwork.

If you're used to a box filled with cables and the like, then the bundle with the P67A-S will come as something of a shock, since you only get two SATA cables, an I/O backplate, a manual and a driver CD.

As we said, this is budget, no-frills Sandy Bridge-ing. A bit like the mobo equivalent of Easy Jet...

That said, it does come with the key features you'd expect from a P67 board; the latest I/O in USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gbps trim, some funky LEDs and a post code display. It also outperforms the top-end ECS board by some way across the board.

There's some overclocking fun to be had here, but it's not quite hitting the highs we'd hope.

We liked

It makes a pleasant change to see a board that is not crammed full of mostly unnecessary bits and bobs, many of which are never used by the man in the street.

The Foxconn P67A-S covers all the basics and does them well, and can form the basis of a pretty powerful PC on a reasonable budget.

We disliked

As with the ECS P76H2-A Black Extreme, the Aptio UEFI BIOS in the P67A-S was reluctant to perform at its peak. There's also a feeling that aside from saving on the unnecessary fluff in the box, Foxconn has been a bit tight not putting in a few more drive cables.