Foxconn H61MX review

It may be a basic motherboard, but the Foxconn H61MX is Sandy Bridge for £60

Foxconn H61MX
Is it worth cheaping out on Sandy Bridge?

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Foxconn h61mx

Just by even a subtle glance you can tell that Foxconn's H61MX is the stereotypical value/entry-level board, even down to the choice of colours for the various slots and ports.

There's certainly none of those fancy components in the power side of things as there is on the MSI H61MU-E35, for example – the power circuitry is made up of standard off-the-shelf items.

No, what you get here is a straightforward no-nonsense motherboard that does what it says on the tin.

Similarly when it comes to the H61MX feature set, it's about as basic as you can get with no extra added in features.

Well, no, that's no quite true – there are a couple of PCI slots, which need a third-party controller.

The only other expansion slots are a single x16 PCI-E and a single x1 PCI-E slot. Even with this lack of features the graphics card slot is still too close to the locking latches on the memory slots to allow you to get the modules in and out.

There are no HDMI or DisplayPort outlets to go along with the DVI-D and standard VGA ports, and the board's integrated audio is just six channels using Realtek's ALC662 controller.

A clue has to why the Foxconn H61MX is pared back in features is that perhaps Foxconn is aiming the board more at business or even corporate users than consumers. Sitting on the bottom edge of the board is the header for a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) – it would certainly explain the lack of video ports and the use of six-channel audio and PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse.

A quick word on the manual, which is of the poster type.

It's multi-lingual with photos guiding you through the most important parts of the board. It's not printed on the best quality paper we've ever seen, but its better than nothing, and at least you get a nice big picture of the board in the middle of it so you can get familiar with what all the motherboard bits and bobs are.

We liked

A Sandy Bridge motherboard for £60! That's not to be sniffed at.

We disliked

The trouble with boards like the H61MX is they're just a tad underwhelming. Nothing's been added to the basic chipset to add any wow factor, since it's built for a purpose and a price.

In some ways Foxconn has pared the feature set of the H61MX back a bit too far. OK, you could live without HDMI or DisplayPort options, and even USB 3.0 may be seen as an unnecessary luxury, but building in 5.1 audio instead of 7.1 is plain mean.

Final word

If you are on a very tight budget and want to experience what the Sandy Bridge CPUs are like, then the H61MX might be worth having a look at, but even then we're not that sure.