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Foxconn Mars Review

ccokeman    -   February 12, 2008
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Closer Look:

The enthusiast section of the BIOS is where we can tweak the MARS to achieve the results we want from our hardware. While there are as many names for the overclocking section of the BIOS as there are motherboard manufacturers, the name for the Foxconn rendition is a bit different. This section is called the Gladiator BIOS! In here is where the magic happens. Follow along as I take a quick tour through this section.

 

 

 

Gladiator BIOS:

Under this tab the options exist to help enthusiasts to extract the most performance they can fom their components.

 

 

 

CPU Features:

Under this section CPU specific control items such as EIST, C1E and core multiprocessing can be enabled or disabled.

 

 

Memory Timing Config:

In this section you can choose to manually set up the system memory timings and options or leave them in the auto position.

 

 

All Voltage Control:

This tab is exactly what its name implies. All of the voltages that can be controlled by the user are adjustable from within this section of the BIOS. CPU voltage, memory voltage, Northbridge PLL, it's all here.

 

 

The first item under the voltage control is the voltage multiplier. Maximum setting is 1.296. This feature reminds me the special vid section on the DFI NF4 motherboards. Maximum preset voltage to the CPU is kept to 1.6 volts. Now with using the multiplier the maximum voltage is greatly increased. CPU voltage is a maximum of 1.6 volts x 1.296

 

 

DRAM voltage goes up to an ungodly 3.365 volts. This zone is almost certain death for even the best DDR2 modules. But if you want to eek out that last little bit, the power is there to power the modules. Nortbridge voltage also scales well into the death zone at 2.395 volts.

 

 

The last item under the voltage section is the Southbridge and PLL voltage selection. The voltage for this selection tops out at 1.95 volts.

 

OC Gear provides the ability to store several BIOS configurations. If you want to stay stock for a while and then ramp up to the overclocked settings without trying to remmember all of the settings, save the profile in the OC Gear section. You can store, restore and clear out the settings in that profile. Overclock Phase Select gives the user the option of manually overclocking the hardware they have or having an "Instant OC" of 5%, 10%, 15% or more.

 

 

CPU clock ratio is dependent on the type of CPU you have. Usually the multiplier will be locked to a certain range. The Q6600 in this review is locked between 6 and 9 as an example. With a CPU that supports half multipliers (Q9770) and is unlocked both up and down, the maximum multiplier that can be set is 60. THe CPU core clock on the MARS has the highest selectable FSB that i have seen at 999 FSB. Extreme, to say the least.

 

 

 

Memory ratios are selectable from 1:2 through 1:4. PCI-E bus frequency is selectable up to 255MHz and the PCI bus clock speed can be run asynchronously or locked at three select clock speeds.

 

 

After looking at the MARS layout and the BIOS, I can't wait to see how well it handles.

 




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