FIC AD11 SocketA DDR
Boy have I been busy lately
with quite a few SocketA motherboard reviews.. That, of course, is a very
good thing. The most recent SocketA review was the AOpen AK73 Pro. As it turned
out that board wasn't a perfect fit for someone like me who wants to be able
to overclock on the fly without a lot of fuss. AMD has seen the challenge
that Intel's CPUs are issuing and have come up with the latest stepping of
the Athlon. Instead of the 200 MHz bus speed that we've all grown to love
we've been given a bump up to 266 MHz. FIC was kind enough to send their new
AD11 motherboard for review. What makes this board especially interesting
is that it natively supports the 266 MHz Athlon and DDR SDRAM. With memory
being the biggest bottleneck in modern computers this makes a whole lot of
- Socket A AMD
- DDR SDRAM support
- AMD 761 & VIA
- ATA-100 Support
- Onboard sound
- 1 AGP, 5 PCI,
- 2 DDR Dimm slots
- 3D PCI sound
- 8.8" x 12"
On first inspection it was obvious
that this is a good design. I was surprised by how small the mainboard was.
It is nearly 1.5 inches narrower than the AOpen AK73 Pro. That goes to show
just how important size is to some manufacturers.
There are several tall heatsinks
on the motherboard components. This is very new since no other manufacturer
has thought to cool anything other than the chipset on the board. The CPU
socket is located close to the top of the board but a little too close to
the on board connectors for the PS2 components and the USB connectors. Another
area of concern was that the capacitors ajacent to the CPU socket are pretty
close. Too close it turned out for me to use a Thermaltake Super Orb heatsink.
When you have a brand spankin new 1.2 GHz Athlon (266 fsb) then you just want
to make sure you can mount the biggest and baddest heatsink on it.