Seven $260-$320 X79 Express Motherboards, Reviewed

Foxconn Quantumian-1

Spelled by Foxconn both with and without the hyphen, Quantumian-1 is a member of its recent re-focus on the enthusiast market. Therefore, we're naturally expecting advanced overclocking settings. Before we get to this platform's UEFI, though, let's have a look at its other enthusiast-oriented featues.

We find, for example, two Ethernet controllers, dual eSATA ports, and an additional pair of SATA 6Gb/s connectors. None of those features are remarkable in the enthusiast segment, but they do add a value kick to this $270 board.

Foxconn also presents four x16-length PCIe slots, which are spaced in such a way as to prevent most folks from considering a four-way SLI arrangement. The upper black x16 slot uses eight lanes from a Sandy Bridge-E-based CPU, while the lower black slot, when it's active, takes eight lanes from the lower red slot. Two-way CrossFire and SLI (admittedly more common than any four-way config) receive a cooling benefit from the extra space between the two red slots.

Foxconn places a row of voltage detection points along the Quantumian-1’s front edge specifically to please hardcore overclockers (along with base clock control buttons and a Port 80 diagnostics display). They all reside above the top graphics card to ease access in a completely configured system. Power and reset buttons are more remote, near the front of the board’s lower edge.

Except for the odd spacing of its eight-lane center slot, we have no other qualms about the Quantumian-1’s layout. The internal USB 3.0 header is located far above the top graphics card, the front-panel audio jack is moved around an inch forward of its traditional bottom-rear-corner location for easier cable reach, and the forward-facing SATA ports are perfectly matched to modern cases that have space between the motherboard tray and hard drive cage. The CD audio header is an odd find on modern boards, but it does nothing to detract from this platform's good overall design.

Eight SATA cables, two-way, and three-way SLI bridges complete a relatively sparse Quantiumian-1 installation kit.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • Crashman
    Update: C2 CPU is now here!
  • jprahman
    So when will we see results with a C2?
  • Crashman
    jprahmanSo when will we see results with a C2?It's going to take around a month to prepare another I guess good news comes with bad news, sorry.
  • amuffin
    :o foxconn boards are pretty good.
  • Crashman
    amuffinfoxconn boards are pretty good.They've been making decent enthusiast boards on-and-off for a while.
  • morne
    Quick coment on looks only (I know its specs that count not looks but oh well)
    ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB - very nice all black looks better than gigabytes atempt
    Asus P9X79 Pro - new baby blue they use on all the boards... not for me
    ECS X79R-AX - looks like my old pentium 2 board with the white slots
    Foxconn Quantumian-1 - i like i like gives a feeling of the ROG ASUS boards
    Gigabyte X79-UD3 - rip of from the ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB (lol) plus the southbridge heatsink looks old fasion and ugly.
    Intel DX79SI - now this board for me looks good actualy more than good looks the best :) must be the scull lol
    MSI X79A-GD65 8D - also very nice love the blue + Black.

    If you have one of the boards and i insulted it, wasnt the intention, just my view of the board>

  • stingstang
    My only question is.. Why do you guys need 6 freaking $1050 processors? Good golly gosh!
  • ubercake
    Great descriptive article.

    One thing I'm not sure of is the acceptance and actual usage of eSATA. While practical at some level, is anyone actually using this MB feature or is this one of those things the MB producers can skip out on like parallel and serial ports? I'm not sure enthusiasts are all that into using their eSATA ports?

    Personally, I think this is one of those money saving opportunities MB producers should consider.
  • geekapproved
    After the X58 anal pounding, you would be a moron to buy a X79. It's life is predicted to be even shorter than X58.
  • morne
    Actualy i agree with you ubercake, i have never used my E-sata, and with usb 3.0 out doubt anyone still uses E-sata if they have before.