IN DEPTH OF FOXCONN BLACKOPS–the x48 motherboard dedicated to gamers
After a couple of years of entering branded Motherboard market,
FOXCONN has started a gaming product line Quantum Force from the P35 chipset based MARS featuring overclocking, performance and gaming in 2007.
Lately we see another Quantum Force “BlackOps”, a X48 chipset based motherboard,
launched. BlackOps is a bit behind on schedule comparing to other manufacturers’ X48 motherboards, but we’ll find out if it’s worth waiting now.
The package is as huge as 45 x 13 x 29 cm with rich accessories. No surprisingly, the package design is targeted at gamers.
Here’s the manual, quick guide, I/O panel, FOXCONN “Quantum Force” shield sticker and the IDE cable.
SATA cables, USB rear bracket, and screws
7.1 channel audio capability SONAR Audio card based on Realtek ALC885 chipset
And an additional 12cm fan for Chassis to releasing system temperature
Here’s FOXCONN BLOCKOPS
In this part of the board
A total of 3 PCIe x16 slots support ATI CrossFireX technology. When all of them are running, it operates at x16+x16+x4.
3 PCI slots.
It uses Broadcom 5786/5788 Gigabit LAN chipset.
In this part of the board
6 SATAII provided by ICH9R southbridge and support RAID 0, 1, 5, 10
LEDs to show system message and the Power/Reset/Clear CMOS button
Dual BIOS design, and an the blue jumper can reset the board easily
In this part of the board there are connectors include:
24 pin power supply connector
1 IDE connector
1 Floppy connector
4 DDR3 DIMMs support 800/1066/1333/1600 MHz
In this part of the board
It supports 45/65nm Quad/Duo processors
8 phase PWM design
2 eSATA ports provided by JMB363
6 USB 2.0 ports
2 Gigabit LAN ports
BLACKOPS 4 in 1 Quantum Cooler
1. Water Cooling
2. the usual passive air cooling
3. Active air cooling with the additional fan in the accessories
4. Extreme cooling with dry ice or LN2
And an additional testing tray gives a better thermal solution
Here’s the boot-up screen as shown on the package
FOXCONN also offers an application to change the boot-up screen on your own
BIOS post screen
Quantum BIOS overlocking setup screen
When the CPU clock and memory speed at 1:4 ratio, there are 4 optimized pre-set ratio.
On the right side, there’s also the setting suggestion.
Detail DRAM Configuration
A lot of options are available to fine-tune all kinds of DDR3
Voltage post screen
Voltage configuration is one of the strength of FOXCONN BLACKOPS. It offers wide rage of voltage control with many tweaking options.
CPU Voltage Multiplier x1.000~1.525
CPU Voltage Setting 0.8250~1.60000V
CPU PLL Voltage Setting 1.395696~2.446852V
CPU VTT Voltage Setting 1.200~1.725V
NB Voltage Setting 1.156V~2.395V
OC Gear offers 7 setting savings
PC Health Status
It monitors both voltage and speed.
PC Health Status
Quantum BIOS offers so many options for tweaking, it’s hardly to find anything missing or not detail enough.
This picture shows the settings of quad-core CPU overclocking.
Boot-up screen can be changed to your own in the application provided.
But it only supports 256 colors.
CPU: INTEL Core 2 Duo E8500/Quad QX9650
MB: FOXCONN BLACKOPS
DRAM: CORSAIR Dominator TWIN3X2048-1800C7DIN
VGA: GAINWARD BLISS 9800GTX 512MB
POWER: Corsair HX620W Modular Power Supply
Cooler: Thermaltake BigTyp VP
Image of the application install page
The overclocking utility, AEGIS panel, comes with BLACKOPS (X48) have been upgraded to a newer & stronger version than what we saw in Mars (P35).
FSB or voltage can be tuned in AEGIS panel
Also monitoring voltage and temperature
FOX LiveUpdate BIOS update utility.
Intel Core 2 Duo processor, E8600, runs stable at 556MHz SP2004
Comparing to other X48 based motherboards, BlackOps out-performs at running over 550Mhz FSB and stay stable.
We also saw a lot of people working BlackOps to 570~590MHz at CPUZ.
Intel Core 2 Extreme processor, QX9650, runs stable at 460Mhz Super PI 32M
The performance at quad core is above average comparing to P35.
FOXCONN BLACKOPS uses a different voltage design which cause a lower voltage value in CPUZ.
FOXCONN’s own utility shows the correct CPU voltage for reference. Hopefully we will see a future version to fix the CPUZ issue.
Overclocking at DDR3
2 DDR3 1800 CL7 7-7-20 1.99V
System runs stable with dual SP2004 2GB loaded
Memory bandwidth testing
It runs stable at DDR3 1800 CL7. Unfortunately the BIOS we have can’t push it to DDR3 2000. Hopefully we’ll see it soon with a newer BIOS.
Running at 9800GTX
DARM DDR3 1842 CL7 7-7-20 1T
1. Supreme spec and various overclocking accessories.
2. Supports PCI-E 2.0, CorssFireX, X16+X16+X4
3. 8-Phase digital PWM, eSATA, onboard power button and debug LEDs
4. Rich overclocking options in BIOS and a wide voltage range
5. Outstanding extreme overclocking performance running on Core2Duo FSB
1. Most X48 based motherboards are priced high at between 310 to 370USD. BLACKOPS sells at 350 USD, a price still higher than other highend motherboards even with its abundant accessories.
2. The availability of BLACKOPS is relatively lower than other MB makers.
3. The DDR3 overclockability can be improved.
Board layout ★★★★★★★★☆☆
BlackOps is the first motherboard we see with most complete accessories for overclockers. It is evident to tell FOXCONN’s ambition and effort in building a gaming brand.
In the gaming test, we found X38 and X48 have better capability on their X16+X16 Crossfire support than X8+X8 on P35 and P45. This gives X48 more advantage on running high-demanding games.
FOXCONN Blackops really sets a new bar on motherboard design and innovation, including the performance, overvall board design and a complete and luxury accessories.
These inevitably make Blackops’ pricing higher than others, since X48 based motherboards are set at extreme highend segment.
If Foxconn could cut down some of the accessories, and lower the retail price, they can satisfy a lot more users with tighter budget.
The BlackOps is for a very select market; overclockers who don't own PC cases and change hardware constantly.
This board is not for gamers though, gamers don't want to be bothered too much with hardware and want to play games;)
regarding X38 vs X48, if you have the time, could you do some tests with 2xATI cards on both boards, using games not 3Dmark to test the difference? According to some in-depth testing here, the difference between X48 <> X38 is negligible;
more at http://www.madshrimps.be/vbulletin/f...-vs-p35-45871/
~3fps difference at 1680x1050 & 1920x1200. If you already have a X38/P35 you should not upgrade for the "gaming" performance improvement; invest that money if a better VGA card, that will pay off more :D
it's also custom sized; it doesn't fit in your standard ATX case either; build to be used outside a case;) a true OC board; going further where DFI stopped
It's not JMke, normal ATX size:
We saw a board with 4 PCIe ports that was larger then a normal board, but that one isn't in production (yet ?).
See here (almost bottom of the page.)
was thinking of that one indeed!
Is the included NB fan used in that setup above with the thermaltake CPU cooler?
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