Foxconn supplied a ‘Media Sample Test Report’ with the loan sample that spelled out the settings we should use. CPU core voltage gets a small raise to 1.4125V, DRAM goes up to an enormous 2.340V, Northbridge voltage increases to 1.625V, and the CPU VTT and Southbridge both go up to 1.650V. We duly tried these settings and the Foxconn simply beeped like crazy and reset to standard voltages. Raising the voltages by smaller amounts prevented the Bios from resetting but didn’t allow us to overclock beyond 420MHz.
Foxconn sent us a Beta Bios so we updated from version P03 to S01 using the Fox LiveUpdate utility and while everything looked the same apart from the default memory voltage being raised from 1.800V to 1.890V there were some encouraging signs. We could now raise the voltages by about half of the suggested amount and could raise the FSB to 440MHz and a CPU speed of 3.52GHz so maybe – just maybe – future Bios revisions will deliver on the promise of awesome clock speeds.
Foxconn claims that the Mars will deliver an FSB of 575MHz, which would mean that our E6750 CPU could run at 4.6GHz. Tragically though at our particular settings, like a Greek hero, the Mars fell far short of that mark, which means that it gets lost in the P35 crowd.
As things stand, the Foxconn Mars is merely a decent P35 motherboard with dual graphics slots. As such the estimated price tag is slightly too high for comfort. However, if Foxconn can find the missing performance, we’ll be happy to reappraise the Mars.
Foxconn has been in touch and we are happy to point out that faster bus speeds, as per the screenshot from the press release below, would have been achieved had we chosen to lower the multiplier. Of course, in all such scenarios, depending on your exact hardware, it’s a classic case of ‘your mileage may vary’.