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FIC AU11 nForce2 Motherboard Review

FIC AU11 nForce2 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Based on the same nForce2 SPP (System Platform Processor) you can already guess that that the FIC AU11 is going to be fast.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: FIC Jan 17 2003   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > FIC AU11

FIC AU11 nForce2 Motherboard Review

First International Computer (FIC) are a very diverse manufacturer, making motherboards, videocards, small form-factor book PC's and even Microsoft Tablet PC's. But let's not get too far off topic so soon, the motherboard we are testing out today is the nForce2 based FIC AU11 Chameleon. The previous nForce2 mainboard we reviewed was the MSI K7N2-L, and it's performance was quite impressive so we have equally high expectations for the AU11.

Based on the same nForce2 SPP (System Platform Processor) you can already guess that that the FIC AU11 is going to be fast, but is it worth extra $20 CDN over that of MSI's K7N2-L solution? Read on and you shall see...

For starters, what exactly does the FIC AU11 have to offer? Is it chocked full of USB and firewire ports, or is it just a plain and simple mainboard solution? Well thanks to the nForce2-128 SPP Northbridge chipset, the AU11 supports any 200/266/333 MHz based Athlon processor, even the upcoming Barton based Athlon's so upgrade paths are clean and simple.

There are three DIMM slots for a maximum of 3 GB of PC1600/2100/2700/3200* (* there is no JEDEC PC3200 standard) memory, but since the NF2 is able to take advantage of dual channel DDR, you'll really just want to populate the first two slots with identical memory types/sizes.

The FIC AU11 also includes other goodies like on board IEEE 1394, 10/100 LAN and 5.1 audio. In terms of expansion room, there are six PCI slots and a 4x/8x AGP port with a maximum AGP interface bandwidth of 2.1GB/second.

FIC AU11 Motherboard

Ships with the following:

  • IDE ATA66/100 Cable
  • FDD Cable
  • Driver CD
  • Utilities CD
  • User Manual
  • Quick Install Guide
  • Rear I/O Back Panel
Brackets:

  • USB 2.0 Bracket
  • IEEE 1394 Bracket
  • Game Port Bracket
  • FIC have never really been after consumers hearts with flashy coloured PCB's, or other gimmicks. Rather, as we can see with the AU11 they're simply delivering a good combination of value and performance.

    With most of the features we now come to expect based on chipset level support, it has become very inexpensive for manufacturers to include them - no extra hardware is required for USB, LAN or Firewire support anymore in most cases.

    I personal like that more and more manufacturers are including on board 10/100LAN as standard equipment, with broadband becoming more popular, a NIC card is now just one less thing you need to purchase. If you use high bandwidth external devices, the AU11 supports both (2 ports) Firewire and (6 ports) USB 2.0.

    The layout of the components and sockets on the FIC AU11 is pretty good, there's nothing that really gets in the way of long expansion cards, or other parts in a small mid-tower case. Sure, the power connector isn't in the greatest location in terms of CPU airflow, but being close to the MOSFETs means a more stable voltage supply.

    With a total of six PCI slots, you shouldn't have any problems in terms of future expansion on the AU11. If you can't fit everything you want into this motherboard, you won't be able to with any other board on the market.

    While the nForce2 chip is cooled with a rather large passive heatsink, it would have been more useful if thermal paste had been used instead of the rather thick pink thermal pad. Incidently, from what we have seen thus far in nForce2 boards it doesn't seem like IDE RAID is being supported on very many models.

    © 2017 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

     

    Contents of Article: FIC AU11
     Pg 1.  — FIC AU11 nForce2 Motherboard Review
     Pg 2.  Heatsink Clarences and Overclocking
     Pg 3.  The AU11 BIOS
     Pg 4.  Benchmarks and System Specs
     Pg 5.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2002, Winbench 99
     Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Sandra 2003, PCmark 2002
     Pg 7.  Benchmarks: 3Dmark 2001, QIII Arena
     Pg 8.  The Little Green Board Does Impress

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