Articles: Mainboards

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Besides color coded front panel connectors there are three buttons in the area surrounding the chipset South Bridge: Power On, Reset and Clear CMOS. As usual there are also SATA and USB connectors there alongside with IEEE1394 and COM connectors right below the last PCI slot.

The PS/2 connectors for keyboard and mouse are laid out on the mainboard rear panel together with the optical and coaxial S/PDIF, one e-SATA, one IEEE1394 (the second one as well as the two USB ports are implemented on an additional bracket for the case rear panel that comes with the board), six USB ports, network RJ45 out and six audio jacks.

I don’t know if you managed to picture the Foxconn Mars mainboard now that we have briefly described its major functional spots, so I suggest that you take another look at its circuitry layout before we go any further:

Don’t you notice anything? Yes, the usual things normally do not catch our eye, but Foxconn mars is designed almost ideally, and it is a very rare thing these days. All the components of the board are in their best places. The eight-pin power supply connector is next to the processor socket in the upper left corner of the PCB, the 24-pin connector is on the mainboard’s right side with the floppy and Parallel ATA connectors right next to it. Serial ATA and additional USB connectors together with IEEE1394 and COM port are at the very bottom. There are enough PCI and PCI-E slots and they are placed very conveniently, so that the installed graphics card will never block the DIMM slots clips. The five fan connectors laid out on the PCB will be more than enough in most cases and even the mainboard rear panel carries everything you might ever need.

If there were a mainboard museum anywhere, then Foxconn Mars should definitely take the primary spot there as a perfect example of ideal PCB layout. We were greatly impressed with the convenient and at the same time classical design of Foxconn Mars mainboard. Unfortunately, we come across such thorough approach pretty rarely these days.

In conclusion to our design and functionality discussion I would like to list all the official specifications of the Foxconn Mars mainboard:

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