Foxconn Mars Reviewccokeman - February 12, 2008
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Leeeeets get ready to ru.... oops wrong story. When you think of MARS, what crosses your mind? For most it's the little red planet we see in the night sky that some think one day may be the next planet we colonize. On the other hand, there are those that know their Greek and Roman mythology. To them Mars is known as the God of War. Is the MARS we will be looking at much like the inhospitable red planet with little to show in the way of promise for our future, or will it offer God-like performance for the masses? I don't know, but I'm anxious to find out.
The Foxconn MARS is built upon the Intel P35 northbridge chipset and ICH9 southbridge. Each were chosen because of their attributes as well as the overclocking performance of the Intel P35 chipset. The feature set includes 100% solid capacitors for long life, 45nm processor support, 6 phase power regulation, up to 8GB of DDR2 1066 memory is supported, 2 x 16x PCI-E slots (16x X 4x in Crossfire mode), onboard ON/OFF/Clear CMOS switches and so much more.
The MARS is part of the Quantum Force series of performance products from Foxconn. The theory behind Quantum Force is to provide the enthusiast with performance without compromises. Basically what the theory is designed to do is get rid of the fluff and provide a lean, mean, fighting machine to allow the user to extract the most performance from the installed CPU and memory. The theory behind Quantum Force is not just a theory, but it is part of a design philosophy used by the engineers at Foxconn called SWORD. This philosophy is the driving force behind the innovation and drive to build a better performance product.
The packaging of the MARS board is a brilliant blood red. On the front panel of the box is a representation of the Roman God of War in battle ready to vanquish an enemy. The MARS is part of the Quantum Force series of products from Foxconn. The front panel shows some of the basic features of the board including support for 45nm processors, Crossfire graphics and Windows Vista certification. The rear panel highlights many of the onboard features including DDR2 1066 support, Crossfire support, Coolpipe technology, 6 phase PWM, and 100% solid capacitors. The flip up front panel allows the prospective buyer the opportunity to view some of the highlighted features before making the decision to purchase the MARS.
Slipping the main box out of the outer sleeve gives us our first glimpse of the MARS. It is locked securely inside of a plastic clamshell. I'm not too sure about the ESD protection that this provides. Pull the clamshell housing the MARS out of the way and we find that the case is divided to house the accessories underneath the board.