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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  • JarredWalton - Friday, January 02, 2009 - link

    Well, 12GB would require 4GB DIMMs, which I don't think are in supply at all right now (if they even exist). I can find 4GB DDR2 DIMMs, but not DDR3. Reply
  • gemsurf - Friday, January 02, 2009 - link

    It seems a waste of time to bother with motherboard articles on this site anymore. None of them are of a "finished" product and all have "nothing fatally wrong that can't be fixed with some bios updates" and "were hopefull fixes will be forthcoming"

    I thought you guys actually were starting to get it! All those incredible components and specs mean nothing if it doesn't produce a workable product in the end! So that promise of turning over a new leaf at Anands is still awaiting a "bios update" too?

    It is way past time to call them what they are people! Crappy products not ready for release so don't buy them until they are!
    We are you're constiuents, and we are the reason you can sell the ads here on Anands. We are who you need to "tell it like it is" to!

    Many of us, like myself have been coming here since the geocities days because we have had great respect and trust in your efforts and opinions. That seems to have changed. If you want to be a beta test lab, then please change the business model and site name so we know what to expect.
    Reply
  • jackylman - Friday, January 02, 2009 - link

    They ARE telling it "like it is". This board, like several others, has great potential, but some quirks need to be worked out in the BIOS. This is an accurate reflection of the product that a consumer can buy today.

    One of the reasons I stopped coming to this site was because it had the tendency to use special versions of a product or BIOS that the consumer was never able to actually obtain, but reviewing an actual retail board remedies this.

    If you're looking for a motherboard that has a perfect BIOS from day one of availability and never has any updates sans maybe some new CPU ID's, GOOD LUCK (and let me know when you find this magical mobo). The sad fact is that mobo manufacturers force consumers to do the beta testing, especially with new tech like the X58 chipset. IMHO, you can't rightfully blame anandtech.com for this.


    Reply
  • gemsurf - Friday, January 02, 2009 - link

    I understand what you are saying, but these boards seem to have more serious issues that do affect the everyday performance. I appreciate that there are always issues with boards and bios updates are a neccasary part of it.

    All I expect once again is for them to say "no, its not ready for prime time, or yes, it is ready for prime time!" Thats all!
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Sunday, January 04, 2009 - link

    Guys, the whole point of article such as this is so *you* know what to expect from it. If you want a rock solid motherboard for a rock solid system THAT IS YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY.

    Read the reviews, and not just from this website, then go read the user reviews on newegg( and I do not care if you plan on buying from newegg or not ). Someone with half a brain should be able to figure out on their own what will work for them, or not. Do not expect someone else to do your homework for you.

    Besides all this, I do not know what you all are getting so wound up about; this is after all a foxconn board, not exactly known for their reliability. If you want reliability, go with Gigabyte, MSI, whatever ( depending on the board/feature set ) and make sure to research your hardware . . .
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Friday, January 02, 2009 - link

    This board has been on my test bench for three days. In that time I've done my level best to look at as many aspects of the board as I think the target audience will but it for on a whim. The fact that we are the only site highlighting the current BIOS inadequacies says something in itself. There was no way we could post a complete review without a partial look in the time at hand.

    The BIOS this board was tested with is current and what you'll get - we've highlighted the flaws we've found in those 3 days of testing. It takes copious hours to compile the 'little' data you see here. In that time we tested all the peripherals a basic system can provide - with the others to be covered over the three week period. What would you rather have? A full review in 2 weeks time - with a newer BIOS on the shelf or an honest look at what's here right now, albeit with limited testing?



    Reply
  • DaveLessnau - Friday, January 02, 2009 - link

    The thing is, it doesn't MATTER how pretty the board is or how kewl its specs are if the darn thing will not "cold or stop-cycle-boot without pressing the "Force Reset" button." As soon as you found this, you should have just stopped the review process and written it up with the headline: "Unable to review since it won't boot-- DO NOT BUY." And that's it. Instead, you don't even mention it until the 3rd page of the review (after fawning over the board for the first two pages). I'm sorry that you wasted "3 days of testing." But, that's your problem. You shouldn't foist it off onto your audience as some way to recover sunk costs. The board fails. Period. Anything else is moot. Do yourself and your audience a favor and just say that. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Saturday, January 03, 2009 - link

    Agreed. Gross faults like not being able to boot without pushing the forced reset button (my computer like many people's is under my desk in an enclosed space; I would laugh at anyone that asked me to crawl under there, open the case, and push a button routinely until they can get a bios fix), ports/features that don't work, and other major issues are not going to help the consumer and ultimately not help the manufacturers.

    Unfortunately we don't have the voice to tell these manufacturers to get their acts together. We come off simply as anti-fanboys, or anecdotal evidence at best. You and this site have the ability to directly affect sales and quality. This article should have been 1 page. Put the picture of the board with the name, and an X through it. Mention it has critical faults that are currently not fixed in the RETAIL available board selling for >$300 USD, and post it up on the main page.

    And do it for the next one, and the next one, until the companies get the idea that we are not beta testers. Can you imagine if the hardware industry becomes the game industry?
    Reply
  • bob4432 - Saturday, January 03, 2009 - link

    this b.s. is why i will never buy the newest gen chip/chipset/m/b/anything - i can not be a beta tester. i have serious back issues - both neuromuscular and structural - i build my machines, get them stable and they sit next to my desk for ~6mos at which time i blow them out w/ compressed air. even if i wanted to subject myself to constant frustration and the pain i would experience for crawling next to my machine and hitting a little button all the time, i wouldn't do it because i spent ~$300 on a m/b. for that kind of $$$ it should work out of the box the way the box says it will.

    i would much rather have a mature p35/p45 m/b for $80-$100 and have it be ultra stable and get 90%+ of the performance of this board and save the frustration for you guys.

    why don't you guys put up a pass/fail on the first page? don't ooh and ahhh over it because it may look cool to you but run like sh!t - i am not a all show no go kind of person, in fact the opposite. i don't get wet from some black and red anodized/painted/dyed heatsinks/slots and board colors....
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Saturday, January 03, 2009 - link

    Fact is there are users without any problems, go check the Foxconn Support forums or ask their staff. Making a blanket statement like that would require the board to be bad in all situations - when it is clearly not. I'm not going to do that unless I know for sure, so what you'll get from me is a maybe. In the end I had to leave it as a possible and made the notification which it's clear you all understand. Initial reaction from users and support at Foxconn is that they're looking at the PSU's we used but cannot recreate it.

    Reply

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