Foxconn Blood Rage - If Looks Could Kill (UPDATE)by Rajinder Gill on January 2, 2009 6:00 AM EST
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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….