We've received confirmation from Foxconn that a certain number of retail boards may be incompatible with some of the higher power PSU's such as the PCP 1200W, Cooler master and Silverstone 1200W units we used for this preview article. Foxconn have identified and rectified the issue with a board modification that has already been rolled out to retail. If your board is having symptoms such as those described at the top of page 3 in our article, please contact Foxconn customer support. They will be happy to replace your board with an updated version.

 

Things are at a fever pitch in the labs at present because we've got a plethora of products from the proverbial who's who of the motherboard industry all awaiting testing and final review. Some of these "superstars" have already received some airtime in our $300 motherboard roundup. Final report compilation is ongoing, with products from ASUS, Biostar, DFI, MSI, ECS, EVGA, and Gigabyte, each presenting its own set of merits and quirks depending on your needs.

If you read the opening page of the first look round-up article, you'll already know what scintillating fun the past two months of BIOS testing has been for us. We'll sum this up by saying, "You can beat us up, but we're never down for long." Yes, we're still excited when we get something new, and the latest contender from Foxconn has certainly been at the center of enough internet-based ballyhoo to provoke our interests enough to march on into the unknown.

Much of the initial crowd "pop" reaction to Foxconn's Blood Rage is related to pictures of the motherboard that have been on the forum based cha-cha-cha circuit for several months now. We'll be the first to tell you, good looks do not necessarily a great motherboard make. But we have to admit, a passing glance at the Blood Rage is compelling enough to create the desire of at least taking a deeper look into what makes this thing tick.


Foxconn's last big foray into the enthusiast segment was with the Intel X48-based Black Ops motherboard. It was a market tester with the goal of establishing their brand name whilst simultaneously demanding accelerated learning from their newly employed Quantum Force BIOS programmers, support staff, and engineering team.

We reviewed the Black Ops back in July. Although the board threw us a few curve balls on occasion, it happened to possess enough substance to make it one of our favorites in what would now be cited as a product from Intel's last generation technology -- a technology that we still think is viable for most users. Those that had positive experiences with the Black Ops by using it in the intended manner have been imbibed with plenty of thought provoking fodder to wonder what's coming next from the Quantum Force development team.

Part of the Blood Rage development process was getting Foxconn personnel to work with the inquisitive consumers who frequent their support forum. The forum staff asked Quantum Force team members and support forum goers what they'd like to see on their upcoming boards, ranging from component choices to color schemes. Although this takes place in various forms at other companies, it's not often you get to provide direct feedback to those who are close to the engineers and design teams. Some of this public brainstorming filtered its way into the final rendition of the Blood Rage, possibly making it the birth-child of a thousand collaborative fathers -- and that could be a good thing. Think of it as a throwback to the Arnold Schwarzenegger/Danny Devito film called "Twins", only this time the outcome is focused solely on releasing the physically superior "Junior" to the public while successfully incinerating Danny Devito's inadequate character before birth. (At least, we think that's the plan Foxconn had in mind.)

Anyway, let's not dwell on those aspects for too long; what matters is whether the Blood Rage really delivers on the promise of its super-charged appearance. Although this first look will concentrate mainly on the overclocking side of things, we'll also be telling you what we like so far and what, if anything, makes us grit our teeth. By the way, the board has performed like any other X58 based product in application and game testing so no worries on that end. Read on if you like to overclock….

Board & Features Overview
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  • davekozy - Saturday, January 03, 2009 - link

    Asus is already releasing version 2 of the P6T Deluxe less than 2 months after the first was released. From what I've read the main difference is the loss of the SAS connectors. Companies with good product support release bios fixes as often as needed. There are 4 bios updates for the first P6T Deluxe or about one every two weeks since release. There have been 8 so far for my 6+ month old Asus P5Q. Evga has 7 bios updates already for their X58 board. That's almost one a week! There are a lot of issues the beta-testers aka early adopters (including AT) have helped resolve. Reply
  • gemsurf - Saturday, January 03, 2009 - link

    Sorry if I let the dogs out Rajinder and I hope it is all taken in context. We don't have the voice that this site does and thru you maybe some of this can improve? We have all trusted Anands for a very long time and I certainly hope he is reading these comments as well. Thank You all for what you do! Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Saturday, January 03, 2009 - link

    Not at all. The reason I did not sensationalize the issue is becasue many others are not experiencing the problems. It's still random. I plugged in an OCZ Pro Xstream today and the board works fine. The variables involved in parts mismatches, batch changes, underhood revisions are so numerous. In the end I felt it better to highlight the possibility. Might not have been what you wanted to see, but the point was there regardless, and from my perspective understood too.

    later
    Raja
    Reply
  • Scott66 - Sunday, January 04, 2009 - link

    Another website had to switch to a different power supply as their usual benchmarking one did not cold boot the system. Reply
  • kilkennycat - Friday, January 02, 2009 - link

    Have you noted that there is a recession? Core i7 is nowhere near mainstream, the current version of Core i7 is not optimised for desktop, being too power-hungry, and the motherboards and memory are ridiculously-priced. Maybe I am "all wet", but it might be very revealing to generate a survey of Anandtech readers with regard to their computer-system purchase intentions within the next 3-6 months.
    Why 3-6 months? The current bunch of Core i7 motherboards are very obviously first-generation beta-phase efforts. It takes somebody with a whole bunch of money and an "early-adopter" mentality to have the fortitude to buy any of them. It is going to take 3-6 months for Core i7 to be considered mainstream and by that time Anandtech is going to have to update a whole bunch of these X58 motherboard reviews. Meanwhile, there is a huge price/performance sweet-spot in the Penryn and Phenom domains with some incredibly comprehensive offerings out there. For just one little example, it is disappointing that the full Anandtech review of the MCP7A/9300/9400 motherboards has continued to be delayed, presumably by the pressure of completing these "bleeding-edge" X58 reviews.
    Reply
  • ssj4Gogeta - Saturday, January 03, 2009 - link

    I'm probably going to wait until Westmere. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, January 02, 2009 - link

    Yep.

    After having to purchase a board unexpectedly this week, and some thought, I've decided on Gigabyte's GA-EP45-UD3P.

    Current reviews almost seem to make it look dated, despite it being a relatively recent board. But considering I'm going from an Intel BadAxe2 (when I buy a board, I want a good board that will last a few years), a P45 chipset is quite new. System also supports DDR2; quality DDR2 is still half the price of DDR3, and it supports faster processors than I need (including my existing Q6600). Add that it also has ICH10R for RAID, firewire, and a ton of ports, and I can save a lot of money over getting an i7 that is certainly cool, but beyond what I need. All for under $150 shipped.
    Reply
  • Paulywogstew - Friday, January 02, 2009 - link

    In the Board & Features overview you state its a socket T 775 interface??? Reply
  • Kroneborge - Friday, January 02, 2009 - link

    IMO, bios revisions for better performance etc are ok, and to be exptected. Bios revisions to get basic functionality working are not.

    When you make a purchase you expect it to work as advertised or it's going back. If you can't get a bios ready by then, then delay release. Develop a repuataion for rock steady performance, and people will beat a path to your door to develop your product, EVEN if they have to wait a extra month or two too purchase.
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Friday, January 02, 2009 - link

    Agreed. Every time I took that brief AMD survey upon a visit to their site I always put that I looked for STABILITY in drivers. Why would I want to get 300fps in a game if it's going to crash on the last level and not let me win? Reply

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