Foxconn DigitaLife ELA P45 Motherboard

Foxconn ELA splash sc reen oxconn ELA AMI BIOS
The Foxconn DigitaLife ELA uses a modified American Megatrends BIOS. Most of these screens will look very familiar, only the Gladiator BIOS in the top right hand corner of the options screen is new compared to the hundreds of other boards that use this BIOS. During our trip around the Foxconn ELA BIOS today, I will be concentrating purely on the tweaking/tuning/overclocking settings in order to save time as I’m sure many of you are already familiar with the other pages.

Interestingly, Foxconn has decided to include two areas where you are able to adjust memory timings – in the Gladiator BIOS and under the North Bridge Configuration settings. I’m not really sure why, but I’ll take an educated guess that the Gladiator BIOS is tacked onto the existing AMI BIOS, and the result is an overlap of the two. The timings are also setup in a non-standard layout with the primary timings scattered amongst the secondary timings which ultimately makes it even harder to tune this board using decent memory.

Foxconn ELA Advanced chipset Foxconn Advanced chipset_2
Upon entering the Gladiator BIOS section we are greeted with CPU Configuration, Voltage Options, FSB, memory divider, and PCIe/PCI clock dividers. Also of interest is the fact that when you set the motherboard to ‘Optimized Defaults’ it keeps the Spread Spectrum;Auto Select PCI Clock; C1E and EIST Function to enabled – neither of which are of which are particularly helpful when trying to push the motherboard to the limit.
 Gladiator BIOS screen Gladiator BIOS_2
Gladiator BIOS dividers Gladiator BIOS CPU options
There are a plethora of divider options available in the CPU Clock vs Memory Speed configuration and this is identical to that found in the Foxconn BlackOps motherboard that we reviewed earlier. This combined with the memory voltage multiplier and the ability to shut down CPU cores for benching (Core Multi-Processing) is unfortunately where the similarities end between the Foxconn ELA and the BlackOps.

Under the CPU Configurations tab we can see the obligatory C1E Function; Hardware Prefetcher; Adjacent Cache Line Prefetch; PECI and EIST Function. Hang on a minute, are we missing something here? Where the hell do we adjust the CPU multiplier? Leaving out this critical function on a P45-based motherboard is akin to having a one legged man in an arse kicking competition. The motherboard is effectively crippled!

Under the Voltage Options tab Foxconn has made some shall we say, interesting inclusions. In what can only be described as a crazy way of adjusting CPU voltage, you basically pick a number from zero (1.20V) through to sixty four (1.6V max) with a voltage stepping of 6.25mV. A simple drop down menu would have been a way easier way of adjusting CPU voltages Foxconn. Furthermore; if you factor into the equation the presence of the CPU voltage multiplier, the likelihood of a fried CPU becomes a very real possibility. Memory voltage sees a much more maligned 1.8V (default) through to 2.3V – of course if you use the memory voltage multiplier then remember to adjust accordingly.

 CPU voltage CPU voltage multiplier
DRAM voltage voltage control
MCH voltage FSB VTT voltage
 CPU PLL voltage
Below I have included a summary of some of the more common voltage options and included their configurations below:
Foxconn ELA major voltage configuration
PC Health status 
Under the PC Health Status tab we have a collection of monitored voltages. Disappointingly, more important voltages were omitted, and the mundane voltages included. If you were looking towards purchasing this motherboard for overclocking duties then you would want to be informed of more critical motherboard voltages like the North Bridge and perhaps memory.The Case Open Warning and Smart Fan configurations round off the PC Health Status tab.

In all honesty, the Foxconn ELA BIOS provides some nice features but at the same time blurs the lines between what this motherboard is, and what it can be. For a multimedia motherboard, the BIOS ‘cuts the mustard’ but for overclocking it unfortunately falls well short in my opinion.

Let’s head over the page to see how we’re going to test the Foxconn ELA…