Foxconn FlamingBlade GTI review

Is it worth using a simple motherboard for high-end processors?

Foxconn FlamingBlade GTI
A budget X58 motherboard (as much as X58 can be budget)

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To keep the cost of the FlamingBlade GTI down to a reasonable level, Foxconn has gone back basics, so instead of the R (RAID) version of the ICH10 Southbridge that's normally associated with the X58, the FlamingBlade makes do with the standard non-RAID version.

Similarly, instead of the usual six DIMM slots – the X58 supports triple channel memory – there are only three, supporting up to 12GB of DDR3 1066/1333/1600/1800/ 2000MHz, the last three speeds through overclocking.

You won't find any USB 3.0 or SATA 6Gbps ports on the FlamingBlade GTI, but there are six SATA 3Gbps ports and the board supports up to 12 USB 2.0 ports via eight ports on the rear I/O panel with two headers on the board supporting the other four.

There's also a (rarely seen these days) ATA port, edge mounted at ninety degrees sitting just under the SATA ports.

Two PCI-E graphics slots are provided, but these only provide support for CrossFire setups only – no SLI support here. The two slots are well spaced to allow for cards with large cooling solutions to be fitted.

To help keep costs down, the board has a six-phase power design using standard components in the power circuitry; there are no military-class components on this board. The MOSFETS, along with the North and Southbridges, are passively cooled.

Sitting under the ATA port is a pair of LED readouts for the BIOS debugs, but unless you already know what the codes mean, you're going to have to look them up since they don't feature in the manual, which is a bit of a pain.

The rear I/O panel contains a PS/2 port, six audio ports for the integrated eight channel audio, single LAN and S/PDIF ports and eight USB2.0 ports.

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