|During the show today, we popped along to see what Foxconn is working on at the moment and we were treated to a bit of a surprise.
As I am sure you’re aware, Foxconn has been trying to break into the hardware enthusiast’s market for some time now and I believe that, with its soon-to-be-released BlackOps motherboard, the company is getting closer and closer to making its mark in the enthusiast sector.
BlackOps is based on Intel’s X48 chipset and will be the second board in the Quantum Force range and it builds on many of the innovations made on the Mars board.
One of the biggest innovations is the new chipset cooling solution, which is CNC milled from a solid block of copper – it’s big enough to not need any direct airflow if you’re looking for a completely passive cooling solution.
That’s old hat, I know, but what makes this product interesting is that the chipset cooler is a multi-purpose design that allows users to interchange between different cooling methods without having to remount the cooler.
The first is of course to run the board completely passively, the second being an optional fan that Foxconn will supply in the box. Meanwhile, for those of you that are into watercooling, Foxconn has designed the northbridge heatsink in such a way that you can fit a lid that turns it into a chipset waterblock. That’s not all though, because Foxconn also allows users to connect a cooling tube which will satisfy those of extreme enthusiasts amongst us that love to play out in the cold.
In addition to this, Foxconn has also made what look to be some pretty decent improvements to its Gladiator BIOS and there is a massive number of voltage adjustment options available to the end user. What’s more, they’re actually organised in such a way that it actually makes some sense and you won’t need to study for a few weeks before you understand how each of the options impacts performance and overclockability – this is a vast improvement over what we’ve seen from companies like DFI.
It’s taken Foxconn some time to get it right, but the BlackOps has the potential to be a fantastic board for hardcore enthusiasts.