We've already seen what the new BlackOps board
has to offer at CES this year, and now we've got a bit more information for you.
The new 4-in-1 multifunction "Quantum" cooler that features either passively cooled, air cooled, water cooled (with 3/8" or 1/2" barbs) or liquid nitrogen/dry ice cooled adapters comes in the box, as standard - you don't need to buy the extra kit.
The BIOS is now called the Quantum BIOS and has also had a complete overhaul since the Gladiator on the MARS:
"We have opened up many more settings for end users to access compared with the Gladiator BIOS, but this new BIOS is not just about more settings. Quantum BIOS introduces a new way of organizing the information and options found in traditional BIOS menus, and we believe that we have created something more intuitive and user friendly. In addition, we’ve tried to explain what each setting does, and we have arranged them in logical groups where settings have an affect on each other.
This was the one thing we questioned when we reviewed the MARS
- the numerous BIOS revisions we saw pre-release all had a somewhat confusing layout but more importantly Foxconn are explaining what each setting does
. Thats of massive importance to an end user wanting to learn and understand a how a system works and what each setting represents. If the Quantum BIOS is as good as Foxconn say it is, we could be on for an absolute winner of a board!
The downside? It's DDR3 only - there will be no
The board has already reached 6GHz using a QX9770 and 5.5GHz with a QX9650, as well as a 3DMark06 record of 28,313 with a Radeon HD3870 running at an apparent 1235MHz Core (on an Asus graphics card, no less).
What worries us is the very niche appeal of watercooling and beyond - what kind of extra cost does this unused incur to the average enthusiast, after all, the enthusiast market is hardly that large to begin with.
Availability is loosely attributed to 'this quarter' if you are interested, but there's no word on price yet either, although, if you're buying DDR3 and wanting to extreme cool anyway the motherboard cost is the least of your worries.
Has Foxconn hit the nail on the head with these new features, or is it yet another marketing exercise that 95+ percent of us won't buy? Let us know your thoughts, in the forums