It now looks like even the world’s largest manufacturer of electrical components is after a piece of the high-end mini-ITX motherboard market. Foxconn has posted a new product on their website, the H67S, a mini-ITX motherboard for the Intel Sandy Bridge platform. This board marks Foxconn’s first direct attempt at a gaming capable mini-ITX platform. Aside from a few apparent misprints on the website, like the one that indicates that the H67S supports 4 DIMMs and 16 GB of memory, Foxconn’s newest mini-ITX motherboard seems to come up a bit wanting in the light of other Sandy Bridge ITX options.
Even if Foxconn is a bit confused on how much memory their new H67S supports, we can be sure that it does utilize 240-pin DDR3 DIMMs. That makes our count five to one in favour of using the larger DIMM’s. ASUS’ P8H67-I is still the lone Sandy Bridge mini-ITX motherboard to use the smaller SO-DIMMs.
Considering Intel’s decision to not include native USB 3.0 support in their new H67 chipset, it was likely that manufacturers would simply use a third-party controller to enable USB 3.0 support on their motherboards. The all did just that, except Foxconn. They just left it out. The H67S does offer ten USB 2.0 ports, but those of you looking for more “future-proof” motherboards, or have a need for the faster USB 3.0, had best look elsewhere.
While all the other mini-ITX 1155 motherboards offer at least four SATA ports, and some as many as six, Foxconn chose to included only three, one SATA II and two SATA III. Although three drives is more than enough for most mini-ITX builders, some users may find that the three connections are just not enough for their RAID arrays or mass storage needs.
A third display option has all been left off the H67S, but HDMI and DVI connections are supported. Given the likelihood that our readers will forgo the onboard graphics in favour of a discrete option, the limited video connection options are not likely to be a deterrent. However, the lack of onboard WiFi might be.
In addition to the display connections, the Foxconn H67S rear panel offers six of the available ten USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 keyboard port, Gigabit Ethernet, and 7.1 channel audio. It doesn’t appear that there is a rear panel SPDIF connection, but an internal header is provided.
The Foxconn H67S offers a capable mini-ITX gaming motherboard board and while we might describe it best as “barebones”, it does offer all of the basics requirements for a mini-ITX gaming system. Whether or not it sees much use in the mini-ITX gaming world will certainly rely on price. User may ignore the board’s shortcomings if the H67S is prices at the lower end of the scale.