When a computer enthusiast hears the brand name Foxconn, nothing out of the ordinary comes to mind. In fact, Foxconn is one of the biggest OEMs in the world. They manufacture electronics for many name brands and themselves. Foxconn’s products tend to be low priced and low on features. In the OEM computer market, Foxconn makes cases, CPU coolers, power supplies, video cards, and most famously (or infamously?) motherboards. Foxconn isn’t known for any particular product segment, like ASUS is known for their motherboards, and Shuttle is known for their barebone XPCs. Many PC OEMs such as Dell and HP use Foxconn boards and power supplies. In the enthusiast market, they are known as a low end motherboard and video card maker. We haven’t reviewed a Foxconn product in almost two years. We introduced NVIDIA’s nForce 5 series chipset with a Foxconn board. NVIDIA commissioned Foxconn to make a reference nF590 SLI board, the C51XEM2AA. This board turned out to be a great success, with great overclocking, layout, and performance compared to the other nF590 SLI boards.
Today, we’re looking at the Foxconn MARS board. Unlike all other Foxconn boards, the MARS contains no numbers, or hints of what chipset is on the board. The MARS is a name similar to what ASUS uses for its ultra-high-end enthusiast motherboards. That’s exactly what the MARS is. Foxconn designed the board with the overclocking, gaming, and performance oriented crowds in mind. The MARS board is part of a new performance product line called Quantum Force. In comparison, ASUS has the Republic of Games line and DFI has their LANParty line. The box is very ornate and shows two Roman soldiers. Mars is the Roman god of war, and Foxconn must be expecting godly performance results. In small letters below the Quantum Force sign, one can see “Performance, without compromise.” That sure is a change from the usually inexpensive boards that lack many features. Let’s look at the specification sheet for the Foxconn MARS board.
On paper, the MARS looks like a great enthusiast board. It has no fewer features than Gigabyte, ASUS, MSI, or DFI performance boards. It supports every LGA775 CPU in existence, even the recently released 9 series quad core CPUs. All FSB speeds are supported, and lots of proprietary overclocking tools are included to surpass those boundaries. Not many accessories are included with the MARS board, but there really isn’t a need for all the extras, as long the board is solid. On to MARS!