If you haven’t been following the mainboard market development, it may be pretty hard to estimate what the situation with mainboard production and sales looks like these days. On the one hand, there is the whole bunch of companies that have wrapped up their production. Does it mean that the competition here has become less aggressive? I don’t think so, especially if we look at the eternal battle between the two giants: ASUS and Gigabyte. The companies release the whole series of mainboards trying to get into all market segments, attract as many users as possible. Foxconn could easily join the race, because they have significant production resources and long-term experience in mainboard design and development, however, their expansion tempo is still pretty slow. We first introduced Foxconn mainboards to you in the end of 2004 in our article called Meet Foxconn Mainboards: Foxconn 925A01-8EKRS2 and Foxconn 915A01-8EKRS2 Mainboards Review. After that we reviewed Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS and Foxconn 925XE7AA, and then after a significant break there was a popular Foxconn Mars mainboard. After that – dead silence again…
However, looks like the giant is waking up and we are about to meet another interesting solution. In early January at Las Vegas CES 2008 show Foxconn showcased their BlackOps mainboard from the Quantum Force overclocker series. The mainboard is based on a not yet announced Intel X48 chipset. The most exciting thing about this mainboard is the 4in1 Quantum Cooler designed for the chipset North and South Bridges and an eight-phase digital processor voltage regulator circuitry. The accessories that come bundled with the board allow using this cooling system in passive mode, in active mode with an additional fan installed, or as part of a liquid-cooling system or even for dry ice and liquid nitrogen cooling!
Besides, the overclocking friendly Gladiator BIOS that we have already introduced to you in our Foxconn Mars mainboard review, the only mainboard from the Quantum Force series we tested so far, acquired new functionality and new organization and is now called Quantum BIOS.
We are very excited about this impressive solution and look forward to testing it hopefully soon enough. However, innovations like that are rarely emerging out of nowhere. They usually get checked out on less ambitious products first.
So today we are going to talk about Foxconn X38A mainboard based on Intel X38 Express chipset in order to find out what Foxconn is going to please us with while we are waiting for the outstanding Foxconn BlackOps solution to come out.