FOXCONN BlackOps X48 Motherboard
The Foxconn BlackOps' Quantum BIOS is based on the Phoenix Award layout, and provides a plethora of tweaking options that will keep the hardcore bencher happy. On our trip through the Quantum BIOS today, I will be predominantly concentrating upon the important overclocking features, as there are many functions that can generally be left safely at defaults or are self-explanatory to those who benchmark. The BIOS version that will be used in today's review is G28 beta.
The main BIOS page provides all the usual options of your typical BIOS, but it's the Quantum BIOS tab that we're most interested in. Hitting the Quantum BIOS tab takes us immediately into the overclocking options. Contained within are: the CPU features; memory timing configuration; voltage selection and Overclock Phase Select options.
The Overclock Phase Select allows for the user to keep the motherboard default settings without overclocking, manually adjust overclocking settings, or utilise the 'Automatic' overclocking functions. Because we here at OC3D like to fiddle and tweak, we'll be using the manual overclocking settings.
Entering into the CPU features screen, we can see the usual options that need to be disabled when overclocking, like C1 and EIST. However, the last two options - Core Multi-Processing and Cold Bug Boot Fix certainly warrant a mention. The Core Multi-Processing function allows the user to disable processor cores, which comes in handy when you're chasing a higher FSB - particularly when benching with quad-cores.
It's widely known that X38/X48 based motherboards have issues when it comes to booting at temperatures below -50 degrees Celcius. As a result, Foxconn has implemented the Cold Bug Boot Fix which essentially shifts the PWM sensing of the processor max-min temperature threshold down to 50C, allowing the board to boot below -120C. But if you're thinking of enabling it without your processor being cooled to at least -50 Degrees Celcius - don't!
The Memory Timing menu allows for your memory modules to be detected according to their SPD profiles, or you can take the manual route. We'll be taking that, thanks, although detection by SPD worked perfectly on our Kingston HyperX DDR3-1800 modules. The Quantum BIOS Memory Timing section has a couple of gems included to squeeze the maximum performance from your DDR3 modules.
The R2RD (Same), R2RD (Different), W2RD (Same), W2RD (Different) settings directly affect memory access latency and read bandwidth. And while the default settings are fine as they are, adjustment of these settings can lead to better FSB scaling.
The FSB Gain 1, 2, 3, 4 settings directly affect memory copy bandwidth and higher, more aggressive numbers in all scales generally means better performance.
Like the ASUS Rampage Extreme, the Foxconn BlackOps' Quantum BIOS also allows for vDroop compensation, and the feature is actioned by simply enabling the CPU vDroop compensation option. The voltage tweaking options are far too numerous to mention, but pretty much everything is able to be tweaked, probed and prodded. Those of you who are looking at the CPU voltage settings and saying "1.6V WTF!!!", please remember that the CPU voltage settings has a multiplier itself and can attain 2.4V.
The Foxconn BlackOps Quantum BIOS also features a neat PC Health Status page that allow you to set the shutdown temperature, and monitor/adjust fan settings.
I have taken the liberty of providing some of the more common voltage options and included their configurations below:
Let's head over the page to see how we're going to test the Foxconn BlackOps motherboard
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