Name, Package and Accessories
The first Foxconn mainboards we tested in our lab were called Foxconn 925A01-8EKRS2 and Foxconn 915A01-8EKRS2. These are part numbers but not model names – the legacy of outsourcing past that cannot be pronounced out loud. The Mars name sounds absolutely brilliant compared to them, but I believe that it is not the best choice: it is a too widely spread popular word. When I heard that Foxconn was going to provide us their Mars mainboard for review I was very surprised, because at first I confused it with the Cooler Master Mars cooler that we tested last year. Some of you may associate this word with the Mars chocolate bar, for instance. Try Googling “Mars” or use any other search engine and see how soon you get to the first Foxconn reference. So, I guess it would be really hard to agree that their marketing made a good choice on the name.
I can completely understand the desire to call their mainboard something meaningful and well-sounding. Mars is the ancient Roman god of war and this name alongside with stylish black-and-red design stressed the aggressive character of this overclocking friendly product. However, this is where I noticed another marketing slip. The black and red painting style belongs to the ancient Greek culture, where they painted red clay amphorae with black paint, not Roman. And in Greek mythology the god of war was Ares. This name didn’t arouse associations like Mars that’s why they probably decided not to go with it, even though it is not so overused these days as Mars.
Like any other top product, Foxconn Mars is shipped in a larger box. The top of the exterior box opens like a book revealing the original heatpipe cooling system though transparent plastic windows. Besides the ancient warriors of unknown Greco-Roman ancestry the package is also decorated with a photo of the actual mainboard and a list of its distinguishing features.
We expected to find tons of different accessories inside the box, however, there were very few, which is unusual for a flagship product. The board comes with black FDD and IDE cabled with Foxconn logos, six Serial ATA cables with power adapters, and additional bracket with a small IEEE1394 and two USB connectors, a small fan and I/O Shield. Besides, there is the whole set of informational materials with it including a CD-disk with drivers and utilities, a floppy disk with drivers for RAID array building, user’s manual, a poster with brief installation instructions in different languages and a leaflet with a reminder to register on Quantum Force web-site.
As you see, there are very few really useful accessories and way too many marketing materials on Quantum Force. Besides the already mentioned leaflet there are five (!) small black-and-white Quantum Force stickers (for four sides of the system case and the top panel?) and a metal Quantum Force chain tag like the US army tags.
At first we were really puzzled with the insistent requests to register that were everywhere: in the leaflets, on the box, in the manual. If you register, they promised you a lot of goodies including video materials, personal technical support and exclusive BIOS updates. Frankly speaking, we were afraid we won’t see any BIOS updates at all, because when we were working on this article, the Quantum Force site was still “under construction”. Luckily, we could get everything we needed on regular Foxconn web-sites. So, as you may have already figured, we cannot explain to you at this time, what’s the difference between exclusive and regular BIOS updates.