Foxconn Reveals X48, Ultra ATX, and Shamino

Manufacturing magnate Foxconn revealed some of its best concepts and technologies during private briefings at CES.

The Quantum Force series X48 Black-Ops motherboard brings Foxconn up to the latest chipset standard. Featuring an enormous water block with finned interior and removable top, it appears obvious that Quantum Force parts are designed for overclocking. In fact, the company even showed a companion item for use by the most extreme overclockers: A long plastic tube bolts in place of the water block lid to facilitate liquid nitrogen or dry ice cooling.

A huge chipset cooler provides a variety of extreme cooling options

Overclock settings include 0.5x multiplier support for fine tuning 45nm-based Intel Core 2 processors, boot strap forcing via jumper, dual BIOS switching via jumper, CPU core voltage up to 2.440 volts in 12.5mV steps, CPU PLL to 2.440 volts, CPU VTT to 1.725 volts, four CPU GTL settings from -31 to +30 steps, and MCH to 2.395 volts.

Other X48 Black-Ops features include an audio riser card with EMI-shielded ALC885 codec, fully digital oversized voltage regulator, dual gigabit LAN, triple PCI-Express Graphics card support, and just about everything one would expect on a board that cost more than $300.

Looking a little further into the future we found Foxconn's Ultra ATX platform. Ultra ATX answers the question "what do I do if I run out of slots" by adding three more slots so power-users won't run out. While traditional ATX boards can provide a maximum of seven slots, Ultra ATA tops out at ten.

Foxconn's Ultra ATX Motherboard supports four double-thick graphics cards with space left over for two more devices

Foxconn's Ultra ATX board also answers questions about why so many manufacturers were previewing 10-slot case designs.

A closer look at the motherboard reveals a few more of Foxconn's good ideas:

Foxconn's Ultra ATX design uses two PCI-Express hubs to better direct traffic in multi-graphics systems. A liquid cooling kit routs across the Northbridge, two rows of VRM components, and the Southbridge, and Foxconn promises to further refine the inlet/outlet connections to allow mounting of either internal or external coolers.

The man holding the Ultra ATX motherboard is competitive overclocking champion Shamino, who has turned his hobby into a job to assure Foxconn buyers are satisfied with their overclocking results.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.