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Foxconn WinFast NF4SK8AA-8KRS Motherboard Review

Foxconn WinFast NF4SK8AA-8KRS Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: The WinFast NF4SK8AA-8KRS is a no-frills AMD Athlon64 socket 939, nVidia nForce4 SLI chipset based motherboard.
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Foxconn Channel Jul 27 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Foxconn Channel NF4SK8AA-8KRS

From dual-channel DDR/DDR2 memory to dual videocards and now dual-core processors, major components inside the PC are teaming up for a smoother ride and/or more performance. What's next, dual motherboards?

If you want to go with a dual videocard system, the only game in town right now is nVIDIA and its nForce4-SLI chipset. ATi announced its Radeon Xpress 200 CrossFire edition chipset and supporting videocards too, but it's been over a month and a half already and nothing real has appeared. I think it's safe to categorize Crossfire as another ATI paper launch for now.

Despite nothing substantial arriving from the ATi camp, news of the Radeon Xpress 200 CrossFire Edition has caused nVIDIA to slash its chipset prices. With nVIDIA currently offering both the better motherboard chipset and videocard GPU, enthusiasts really couldn't ask for more.

If you consider yourself a hardcore gamer and want the power that two videocards bring but are not much into overclocking, then Foxconn has the mobo for you. The WinFast NF4SK8AA-8KRS is a no-frills AMD Athlon64 socket 939, nVidia nForce4 SLI chipset based motherboard with a retail price of approximately $150 CDN ($125 USD). Standard features are limited to a 7.1 channel audio controller and Gigabit LAN but there's plenty of expansion room if you need more, with three PCI slots and a single PCI Express x1 slot. Drive support extends to 4 SATAII and four IDE devices.

Foxconn WinFast NF4SK8AA-8KRS

Includes:

Users Manual, Quick Install Guide, Driver CD, SATA Driver Diskette, Two Ultra/133 IDE Cables, Two Serial ATA Cables, One Floppy Cable, Two Molex Y Serial ATA Splitter Cables, SLI Bracket, SLI Retention Bracket, I/O Shield

At first glance, the Foxconn WinFast NF4SK8AA-8KRS is an odd shade of orange, with a pair of some nice green PCI Express x16 slots. The physical SLI switch rests between them. The motherboard measures in at 24.5 x 30cm in size (standard ATX) and mounts to the motherboard tray via nine screw-points. Considering this is a full-size ATX board, we'd recommend installing it in a full size midtower case with good airflow.

The layout of components and ports on the Foxconn NF4SK8AA-8KRS motherboard is good in general, and it's nice to see that Foxconn engineers have placed the main 24 pin ATX power, floppy and HDD IDE cable connectors to the right of the four DDR DIMM slots. These cables are the largest and keeping them together means they are easier to manage.

The Serial ATA ports and headers are located by the edge of the board where they are also easy to access. With PCI and PCI Express peripherals steadily growing in size, having these ports at the edge of the board keeps the space clear for expansion cards.

Considering PCI Express is the way of the future, I would have liked to see a couple more PCI Express x1 slots on the board. Having only one limits the upgradability of the NF4SK8AA-8KRS.

To enable SLI mode on the motherboard, one must flip the selector switch which resides just between the two PCI Express x16 slots. I would have preferred a BIOS switch or an automatic sensing mechanism, but it's definitely better than swapping 10-or-20 jumpers. Manipulating the switch lock can be difficult if you have a large hand, since the space between the two PCI-E x16 slots is very tight.

The user's manual that accompanies the NF4SK8AA-8KRS motherboard is very good and covers a whole range of topics from hardware settings, physically installing the motherboard into the PC case, and BIOS options and setting up software. This manual is worth a read even if you are an experienced user.

About the only thing I have to complain about is the fact that Foxconn did not include many I/O brackets with its motherboard. Having ten USB 2.0 ports is great, but if six need brackets (which are not included), it kind of defeats the purpose.

© 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: Foxconn Channel NF4SK8AA-8KRS
 Pg 1.  — Foxconn WinFast NF4SK8AA-8KRS Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Overclocking the board and BIOS
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: SYSMark2004
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2004, Winbench 99
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, Super Pi
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, 3DMark2001
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, Comanche 4
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: X2: The Threat, UT2003
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom 3
 Pg 10.  Budget Delight!

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