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FIC AU13 nForce2-ST Motherboard Review

FIC AU13 nForce2-ST Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: FIC's AU13 takes over where the AU11 left off and add's the ever important Serial ATA ports.
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: FIC Apr 17 2003   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > FIC AU13

FIC AU13 nForce2-ST Motherboard Review

When we tested FIC's original nForce2 SPP motherboard the FIC AU11, we were extremely impressed with what we saw but found to be "bare" in terms of features. Well FIC must have taken our words to heart because their newly revised AU13 is much more "future friendly". With the nForce2 chipset now mature and extremely stable, it's obvious that anyone contemplating purchasing an AMD based system or new motherboard should only go with nVIDIA.

nVIDIA certainly has learned a lot in a very short amount of time considering that the original nForce chipset fizzled due to delay after delay. It's an easy bet that nVIDIA was not about to make the same mistake when the nForce2 (Crush 18) was released.

Even though the nForce2 was delayed a few months when it was eventually released, the chipset was heads and shoulders above anything else on the market. In fact, nVIDIA's performance lead is so high that even VIA's up coming KT400A chipset cannot match the nForce2 in terms of performance or features - price is altogether different matter though. That performance lead over basically unreleased chipsets certainly says a lot about the nForce2 which has already been around with us officially for six months!

Rumor even has it that nVidia are revising the current nForce2 chipset for yet more performance. The new chipset is expected to be dubbed the 'nForce2 Ultra' and it will be nVIDIA's last K7 chipset partnered with the MCP/MCP-T southbridge. If the rumors are correct the NF2-Ultra is scheduled to be released in the third quarter of this year, perfect time to compete with VIA's KT600 which has already been spotted at shows like CeBit and Comdex.

nForce2-GT nForce2-G nForce2-ST nForce2-S
Chipset: IGP + MCP-T IGP+MCP SPP + MCP-T SPP+MCP
Front Side Bus (FSB): 333/266/200 MHz 333/266/200 MHz 333/266/200 MHz 333/266/200 MHz
Intergrated Graphics: GeForce4 MX GeForce4 MX No No
AGP Slot: AGP3.0 8X/4X (1.5v) AGP3.0 8X/4X (1.5v) AGP3.0 8X/4X (1.5v) AGP3.0 8X/4X (1.5v)
128-bit Dual Channel: DDR400*/333/266/200 DDR400*/333/266/200 DDR400*/333/266/200 DDR400*/333/266/200
Max Memory Size: 3GB Max 3GB Max 3GB Max 3GB Max
IDE: Integrated ATA133 controller Integrated ATA133 controller Integrated ATA133 controller Integrated ATA133 controller
Firewire: Yes No Yes No
Networking:

Dualnet, nvidia networking and/or 3Com networking

nvidia networking only

Dualnet, nvidia networking and/or 3Com networking nvidia networking only
Audio: NForce Audio Processing Unit (APU)
Nvidia SoundStorm Compatible
AC'97 NForce Audio Processing Unit (APU)
Nvidia SoundStorm Compatible
AC'97
HyperTransport: 6.4Gb/sec 6.4Gb/sec 6.4Gb/sec 6.4Gb/sec

Back to the present; FIC's AU13 takes over where the AU11 left off and add's the ever important Serial ATA ports. Even with new enhancements, FIC have managed to price the AU13 below that of the AU11 (about $90USD) This is easily one of the least expensive nForce2 motherboards we've tested to date.

FIC AU13 Motherboard

Ships with the following:

  • IDE ATA66/100 Cable
  • FDD Cable
  • Serial ATA Cable
  • Serial ATA HDD Power Cable
  • Driver CD
  • User Manual
  • I/O Back Plate

Brackets:
  • USB 2.0 Bracket
  • IEEE 1394 Bracket
  • Audio Bracket

  • In terms of onboard features the AU13 is pretty well equipped. The motherboard has 10/100 LAN, 5.1 audio, IEEE 1394, USB 2.0 (four on the back) and Serial ATA. If you find yourself needing more, the AU13 has six 32 bit PCI expansion slots and of course the lone 8x AGP port. The AU13 supports any current 200/266/333MHz FSB AthlonXP and even the upcoming 400 MHz Athlon as per FIC's website . You can also install up to 3GB of PC1600/2100/2700/3200* memory. (* with all three DIMM slots used memory can only run PC2700 speeds)

    FIC, like Epox use a standard green-coloured PCB for their motherboards. Looking at the AU13, the first thing that caught our attention were the matching black Northbridge/Southbridge heatsinks. Since the Southbridge can generate a lot of heat during extended operation many manufacturers have been adding small passive heatsinks on the chipset as well.

    Since there are mounting holes around the northbridge, the passive heatsink could be removed and a 3rd party chipset cooler like the Vantec Iceberq CCB-A1 or Microcool Northpole added.

    © 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

     

    Contents of Article: FIC AU13
     Pg 1.  — FIC AU13 nForce2-ST Motherboard Review
     Pg 2.  What will you find on the AU13?
     Pg 3.  Heatsink Clearances and Overclocking
     Pg 4.  The AU13 BIOS
     Pg 5.  Benchmarks: SysMark2002, Winstone 2002
     Pg 6.  Benchmarks: Winbench 99, SiSoft Sandra 2003
     Pg 7.  Benchmarks: PCMark2002, 3DMark2001SE
     Pg 8.  Benchmarks: QIII Arena, UT2003
     Pg 9.  Conclusions on the FIC AU13

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       11 / 24 / 2014 | 7:01AM
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