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 30 September 2008
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 Dr. Adrian Wong
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Foxconn BlackOps X48 Motherboard
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The CPU Socket

Foxconn designed the BlackOps X48 to cater specifically to the enthusiast and overclocking community, so the CPU socket area required some forethought. We are glad to note that Foxconn cleared the area around the CPU socket of any tall surface-mounted components. We measured the space and found that there was a 2.5 cm clearance all around the CPU socket. That should be good enough to fit most heavy-duty CPU coolers.

For those who are interested, the north bridge heatsink is about 4 cm tall while the VRM heatsink is about 3.5 cm tall. If you have a ultra-wide CPU cooler, you can still fit it over the north bridge heatsink but you may have to resort to passively cooling the north bridge.

 

The Quantum Cooler

The Foxconn Quantum Cooler is a pretty unique motherboard cooling solution. Foxconn coins it as a 4-in-1 cooler that allows you to choose whether you want to to cool the chipset and VRM using passive cooling, active air cooling, water cooling or extreme cooling (liquid nitrogen or dry ice).

The BlackOps motherboard comes with the water cooler block installed by default. For passive cooling, you just need to remove the top of the water block. For active air cooling, just screw on the provided fan. For those who want to attempt some seriously hardcore overclocking, Foxconn even provides an extension tower. Screw that onto the heatsink and you can fill it up with liquid nitrogen or dry ice.

 

The DIMM Area

The Foxconn BlackOps X48 motherboard has four 240-pin DIMM slots, which allows it to support up to 8 GB of DDR3 memory. It supports DDR3 memory speeds of 667 MHz up to 1600 MHz. The slots are colour-coded for easier dual-channel installation.

The BlackOps supports the use of a single memory module in any slot, or any combination of two memory modules, as well as four memory modules. However, you cannot use three DIMMs. To benefit from the increased bandwidth of dual memory channels, you will need to use two (one in each memory channel) or four memory modules.

Next to the DIMM slots are the solitary ATA-133 connector (blue) and the floppy disk drive connector (red) for those who are still holding onto fossils from the age of dinosaurs. This is also where Foxconn chose to place the 24-pin ATX power connector.

 

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