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Digital-Daily : Motherboard Reviews : 945gc_gigabyte_and_foxconn

"Workhorse" motherboards based on 945GC by Gigabyte and Foxconn

"Workhorse" motherboards based on 945GC by Gigabyte and Foxconn
Author: Aleksandr Mitrofanov
Date: 10.06.2008

Some time ago, Intel came up against some shortage of value integrated chipsets. There were rumors that the company might give up this direction completely. Perhaps, the rumors did have some grounds, since part of Intel's integrated motherboards was manufactured based on chipsets by SiS. Later, Intel found the corporate market quite an important direction and renewed its product line of value chipsets. In particular, there was released the 945GC chipset which is a modification of 945G. This collection of chips (normally, 945GC is equipped with the south bridge ICH7(R)) does not cost much and offers quite a substantial capability. The thing is, the official specifications of 945GC point to support for CPUs of the bus speeds being 533 MHz or 800 MHz. And some manufacturers even started making motherboards based on 945GC, which run trouble-free at FSB = 1066 MHz and even 1333 MHz. A typical example is Foxconn 45CMV which stands out for its rather compact dimensions (Micro ATX) and basic expansion options.

In this review, we are testing this motherboard versus Gigabyte 945GCMCL which is also based on Intel 945GC but offers much smaller dimensions (the Micro-ITX form factor). It is just the super small dimensions (170x170 mm) which is the major advantage of the motherboard and will most likely appeal to operators assembling compact-sized systems of low power consumption. Another advantage of this motherboard is the integrated CPU Intel Celeron 215 based on the mobile Conroe-L core.

Conroe-L

This CPU runs at the clock speed 1.33 GHz (533 MHz QPB) and offers 512 K of L2 cache size. In view of the high integration of Gigabyte 945GCMCL, all you need for a system assembly is just to fit in a memory module.

Specifications

Foxconn 45CMV

Gigabyte 945GCMCL


Foxconn 45CMV Gigabyte 945GCMCL
CPU - Intel Pentium 4 (Prescott (2M)/Gallatin/CedarMill) with the bus speeds 1066/800/533 MHz
- Dual-core Intel Pentium D / EE (Smithfield/Presler) with the bus speeds 800/1066 MHz
- Intel Celeron with the bus speeds 533/800 MHz
- Support for Intel Core 2 Duo (+ Yorkfield, Wolfdale)
- Socket LGA775
- Support for HyperThreading processors
- Intel Celeron 215 (1.33 GHz; 10x133; Conroe-L)
Chipset - North bridge Intel 945GC (GMCH)
- South bridge Intel ICH7
- Interbridge communication: DMI
System memory - Two 240-pin slots for DDR2 SDRAM DIMM
- Maximum memory capacity 4 GB
- Supported memory DDR2 533/667/800
- Dual-channel memory access
- One 240-pin slot for DDR2 SDRAM DIMM
- Maximum memory capacity 2 GB
- Supported memory DDR2 533/667/800
Graphics - Integrated Intel GMA 950 graphics core
- One PCI Express x16 slot
- Integrated graphic core Intel GMA 950
Expansion options - One 32-bit PCI Bus Master slot
- One PCI Express x1 slot
- Six USB 2.0 ports (2 integrated + 4 additional)
- Integrated High Definition Audio 5.1
- 10/100 Mbit LAN controller
- One 32-bit PCI Bus Master slot
- Eight USB 2.0 ports (4 integrated + 4 additional)
- Integrated High Definition Audio 5.1
- 10/100 Mbit LAN controller
Overclocking options - FSB adjustable within 200(333) to 600 MHz
- Adjustable voltage on the CPU, memory
- FSB adjustable within 100 to 700 MHz in 1 MHz increments; multiplier adjustable
- Adjustable voltages on the memory, FSB
Disk subsystem - 1 link for UltraDMA100/66/33 Bus Master IDE (ICH7; with support for up to 2 ATAPI devices)
- Support for SerialATA II (2 links - ICH7)
- Support for LS-120 / ZIP / ATAPI CD-ROM
BIOS - 8 Mbit Flash ROM
- Award BIOS Phoenix with support for Enhanced ACPI, DMI, Green, PnP Features and Trend Chip Away Virus
- 4 Mbit Flash ROM
- Award BIOS with support for Enhanced ACPI, DMI, Green, PnP Features and Trend Chip Away Virus
Misc - One serial port, ports for PS/2 mouse and keyboard
- STR (Suspend to RAM);
- One (two?) serial and one parallel ports, ports for PS/2 mouse and keyboard
- STR (Suspend to RAM)
Power management - Wake-up on modem, mouse, keyboard, LAN, timer, and USB
- Main 24-pin ATX power connector
- Additional 4-pin power connector
- Wake-up on modem, mouse, keyboard, LAN, timer, and USB
- Main 20-pin ATX power connector
- Additional 4-pin power connector
Monitoring - Monitoring the temperature of the CPU, system, voltages, rotational speeds of the two fans
- Smart Fan
- Monitoring the CPU temperature, voltages, rotational speeds of the two fans
- Smart Fan;
Dimensions - Micro-ATX form factor, 245x183 mm (9.63" x 7.2") - Micro-ITX form factor, 170x170 mm (6.68" x 6.68")

Retail boxes

Since Gigabyte 945GCMCL is an engineering sample, the design of the package has not yet been developed, and the package bundle not yet drawn up. Foxconn 45CMV, on the contrary, is being shipped to the retail, and its package box looks like this:


Foxconn 45CMV

Package bundle

  • motherboard;
  • User's Manual in English + brief usage guide;
  • Software & drivers CD;
  • one ATA-133 cable;
  • 1x SerialATA cable + a power supply adapter (1 connector);
  • a cap for the rear panel of the housing.


Foxconn 45CMV


Foxconn 45CMV

On the whole, we had nothing to claim about the package bundle: the remaining value products offer a similar kit of items.

Content:

  • Page 1 - Specifications, package bundle
  • Page 2 - Layout and Features; Expansion options
  • Page 3 - BIOS, monitoring, overclocking tools
  • Page 4 - Performance and conclusions




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