We give you a peek at Foxconn’s take on the X58 chipset – the top-end Blood Rage motherboard.
18/12/08 EDIT: Updated with more details and BIOS screenshots.
We’ve just received Foxconn’s Blood Rage motherboard. We will of course be going through things in greater detail in our upcoming X58 motherboard roundup, but first we’ve lined up a little preview.
The Blood Rage is quite the good looker. Aesthetics aside though, Foxconn has gone down a slightly different path with the Blood Rage.
The Blood Rage has only three DDR3 DIMM slots rather than the six one would expect. Intel’s own DX58S0 is the only other enthusiast X58 motherboard we have seen so far with only three slots, but then that resides in a markedly lower price range. According to Foxconn, this is supposed to help memory overclocking.
The second interesting feature is the presence of four x16 PCI Express slots. The total number of possible lanes remains the same however – meaning that each of the red slots will operate in 16x only when there is no card inserted in the black slot directly below it. If there is, then both the red and black slot will operate in 8x mode. Hence possible configurations are 16x/16x, or 16x/8x/8x, or 8x/8x/8x/8x.
In theory this allows for greater flexibility, but in practice the usefulness of this is probably limited, since the black slots are likely to be blocked by double-slot graphics cards in the red slots. Consequently, triple-SLi, while supported in theory, is also in real reality to be usable since there are hardly any single-slot graphics cards around that support triple-SLi, but who does triple-SLi with lower-end cards anyway?
Another thing of note here is the interchangeable chipset cooling system. The heatsink mounted by default on the northbridge is actually easily removable, and can be replaced by watercooling block or a specially designed container (both included) intended for use with liquid nitrogen or dry ice. This will please extreme overclockers, but we’re worried that since the northbridge heatsink is linked to the other heatsinks on the southbridge and MOSFETs, those areas will have to be insulated with the heatsinks still in place. Ensuring that insulation properly covers everything underneath the heatsinks could be somewhat troublesome.
The last curiosity here is that Foxconn appears to have included LGA775-sized mounting holes, though in the manual they then proceed to warn against installing heatsinks designed for LGA775 coolers. Strange.
Something not so out of the ordinary is the inclusion of two onboard SAS ports (that are also backward compatible with normal SATA drives). This appears to be becoming something of a trend among top-end motherboards – the controller is the same Marvell model also seen on the Asus P6T Deluxe.