Foxconn BloodRAGE X58

Overall Score
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fu·ry

Pronunciation: \fyu?r-e\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural furies
Etymology: Middle English furie, from Latin furia, from furere to rage
Date: 14th century 

1: intense, disordered, and often destructive rage                                                                                                                                                                                                     2 a capitalized : any of the avenging deities in Greek mythology who torment criminals and inflict plagues b: an avenging spirit c: one who resembles an avenging spirit ; especially : a spiteful woman                                                                                                                                                                                                            3: extreme fierceness or violence                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 4: a state of inspired exaltation : frenzy

synonyms see anger
 
Fury, as described above is interchangeable with anger, ferocity and destructive rage.  At times, it seemed as though the BloodRAGE wanted us to literally release the fury within and run about in a destructive rage!  Working with a BIOS that is pickier than most fanbois will do that to you.  It wasn’t all headaches, though, as you will see throughout this review. 
 
Foxconn has a beautiful X58 motherboard full of potential.  With some tender loving care, you can take your hardware to levels not seen by many Core i7 motherboards.  Excellent packaging and a plethora of accessories help make the BloodRAGE a motherboard to lust after.  It is not for the faint at heart, so consider yourself warned!  But fear not, for Foxconn is more than willing to help you acheive your overclocking goals. 
 
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No other color but red can be used to describe what fury would look like. Foxconn did not hold back with this color in designing the board or the box where the Blood RAGE rests, waiting to release its power. The front of the retail packaging explodes in visual stimuli dragging the onlooker’s eyes deep into the world that is the Blood RAGE. A face, man or woman, is pushing through what looks like red latex and seems to be fighting back the craze with a fierce ferocity.

On the brink of exploding with rage we, the onlooker, turn the box over and are comforted with a back covered in black. As our heartbeat settles, we notice the information laid out across its surface. As we focus, the descriptions become clearer and we notice first the quantum power used to describe the power delivery system for the CPU.

 
 
 

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Foxconn uses a 14 phase hybrid PWM and DirectFET MOFSET deliver system to help you extract as much potential as you can from your Core i7 CPU. A SONAR X-FI Audio card with Creative X-FI is included to help you fill your room with the sounds of fury. A unique 4-in-1 Quantum Cooling accessory package is included that is earily similar to what you would find in the BlackOPS packaging. Your options for cooling the NB are a passive heatsink, a fan, a copper water block or a dice/LN2 pot. That’s right, you have the option to go sub-zero cooling on the NB included in the box. And of course, as with most other X58 motherboards on the market, the Blood RAGE supporsts CrossfireX and SLI technologies.

Lifting up the flap on the front of the box ignites the rage once again. There it is in all its glory, pictured on the top flap. The Blood RAGE. If looks could kill, you’d be dead already. On the bottom underneath the flap, you’re given a peek at the what lies inside. The beast waiting to be unchained from its restraints. The NB water block and  dice/LN2 tube seem to flirt with you as you take in the visual flood.

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As we approach the breaking point, our anticipation and anger can no longer be held in check. It’s time to tear open the box and free the animal within…

Inside the prison that is the retail package, lay two boxes. The top contains the Blood RAGE. The bottom, the accessories that complete the beast. As our hands shake while removing the boxes in anticipation, we get a faint whiff of brand new silicon. The sharp, sweat smell with a touch of burnt plastic fills our senses and enhances our fury. There are not to many things in the world of computers that are more exciting than new hardware. On top of that, we are now holding one of the most saught after motherboards in the X58 overclocking community.

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Shaking, but needing to move on, we take a look at the accessories included in the second box. Doing so allows our blood pressure to settle and the shakes to ease. Inside the accessories package we find many items, some necessary, some included just because. There is a fan for mounting on the NB, along with the necessary hardware to mount the water block. A single SLI cable is thrown in as well as the SONAR X-FI audio card. There is a number of SATA cables and SATA adapter cables included. Looking around some more we found the manual and a DVD containing drivers and programs. Foxconn was kind enough to include a huge poster of easy-to-follow installation instructions. Obvioulsy this was done to help those shaking from anticipation and boiling with maddness waiting to throw the awesomeness of the Blood RAGE into their cases and themselves into overclocking history.

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Finally, we take some time to recover and wipe away the perspiration that has accumulated on our face and neck.

There it is, sitting in all its glory. Pulsating with power. Waiting for us to strap in a Core i7 and throw on a bunch of gpu horsepower. Beautiful. That’s all we can say as we stare speechless.

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The layout of the Blood RAGE seems to have been engineered by gods. The CPU socket area includes the usual S1366 mounting holes, but was that enough? No. There are holes for S775 coolers as well. The extra holes are limited, though, by the large backplate that is used to secure the CPU hold down bracket. Without it, we are sure that a Core i7 processor would just break lose of its bonds and try to run away from the ferociouness of the Blood RAGE.

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As if the red fury of the Blood RAGE wasn’t enough, Foxconn included 4 PCIe x16 slots. Albeit, single space, but 3-way SLI with water cooling begs to be paired with this motherboard. Quad SLI and QuadfireX are laughably simply with the layout Foxconn uses.

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Three DIMM slots are all that’s needed on a board meant to compete with the gods of overclocking.

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Six SATA ports with two additions SAS/SATA connectors hang on the outer edge of the lower part of the Blood RAGE.

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The I/O panel has almost all the connections you would lust after. It was disappointing to see that an Optical SPDIF connector was not included on the I/O panel, nor the SONAR Audio card.

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Upon closer inspection we noticed that the engineering gods at Foxconn included some handy bits on the Blood RAGE.  Crafted to make an overclocker’s life easier is the inclusion of a battery discharge jumper.  No longer do you need to remove the battery to completely discharge the motherboard.  Located in the vicinity of the DIMM slots is a jumper that lets you choose to enable/disable the Clear CMOS button on the I/O panel.  Adjacent to the DIMM slots is the almighty Force Reset button.  Yep, that’s right, if your system hangs on reboot after attempting some seriously crazy OC settings, just push this button to force the motherboard to reset and load values that allow you to get back into the BIOS.  As an added convenience and a true headache reliever, is the Reset/Power buttons located on the bottom of the motherboard.

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The beast was almost perfect from a visual and connective standpoint. But what is perfection without its flaws? With our minds filled with images of red and black, and as the rage builds up inside, we get one step closer to unleasing the fury within…

Overclocking, overclocking, overclocking…  A not-so-secret society exists that is inundated with people obsessed with pushing their hardware to its limits.  Vendors such as Foxconn, ASUS, DFI and MSI have taken notice and engineered motherboards that would help overclockers get their fix.  Over the years, overclocking has become more refined and is considered an art by some.  But sometimes you run into problems.  These problems can go beyond the skills of an overclocker who must then seek the counsel of the maker of their motherboard.  It is when this happens that one must pray to Erinyes in hopes of making things just once again. 

Fortunately for some, the makers of their boards are more than willing to help guide them through their struggles.  Foxconn is one such company that is dedicated to helping out its customers.  The Blood RAGE BIOS has been plaqued with bugs that can make some go crazy.   At stock, everything is calm and peaceful, but when you want to push your CPU to its limits, you may find yourself entangled in a web of mystery.  Through all the headaches we have gone through sorting out why our mobo’s BIOS wasnt’ cooperating, Foxconn has been there to help with settings and testing our CPU date codes for issues withing the BIOS.

It has been here, in the overclocking experiences with the Blood RAGE, that our true fruy has been unleashed.  Sometimes, not in a good way.  As we mentioned in the first page of this review, the Blood RAGE is not for those that are easily enraged.  If you have high blood pressure, we recommend that you try not to overclock on this board.  With that being said, we were happy with the results that we finally acheived.  Was the near fatal experience suffered from cardiac arrest worth the hassle with this motherboard?  All we have to say is yes.  Read on and find out why.

To begin overclocking the Blood RAGE we recommend updating your BIOS with the most recent available through the Fox Live Update utility included on the Blood RAGE’s DVD.  As with any BIOS update, we highly recommend you update your BIOS with a bootable flash drive.  If you find that difficult, you can easily update through windows.  But be warned, you may corrupt the BIOS this way.  In our experiences, we encountered no issues updating the BIOS multiple times through Windows and the Fox Live Update utility.

Here is a simple walk through on how to update the BIOS through Fox Live Update within Windows.

1.  After the program is installed and updated, click on Online Update.

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2.  Click on Update BIOS and then hit the Start button.

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3.  FOX Live Updtate will automatically search for the newest public BIOS on the Foxconn servers.  You will be presented with a download screen and once the download is complete, click yes to back up your old BIOS.

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4.  Once the download and back up are complete, the BIOS will be programmed with the newer version.  You will be asked to restart after the programming is complete.  

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5. Restart your system and hit the delete key upon reboot in order to enter the BIOS.  Once you are in the bios, navigate over to Load Optimized Settings, click on it, hit yes to load the settings, then F10 to save and reboot.

6.  On reboot, hit delete to enter the BIOS again, and now you are ready to bust out some overclocking settings with your new BIOS!

 

 

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