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FIC AZ11E VIA KT133 Motherboard Review

FIC AZ11E VIA KT133 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: A few short months ago came the introduction of VIA's KT133 chipset. Though the chipset itself has remained pretty much constant (aside from a minor Southbridge revision), host motherboards have been going through good deal of change in a relatively short amount of time. Current generation motherboards now include multiplier adjustments, ATA/100 support and more recently, some form of Voice Diagnosis a feature that is catching on rather quickly.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: FIC Feb 19 2001   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > FIC AZ11E

NOVUS II



With the AZ11E, FIC has included a decent selection of useful software. These new utilities add a good value addition to the AZ11E as a whole. This NOVUS II includes software such as BIOS Guardian, Easy Key, Overclock Partner, Clockometer, LogoGenie and Audio Alert II.

BIOS Guardian acts as sort of a shield against BIOS attacking virii. Essentially, BIOS Guardian allows the user to enable BIOS writing when needed and disable it when you don't. Easy Key provides a set of hot keys / shortcuts to jump to specific areas of the BIOS. Overclock Partner allows the system to switch back to default BIOS settings in event an overclock attempt doesn't permit the system to boot. As you might be able to tell, these are not exactly new and innovative features as FIC might point them out to be. In fact, we have seen similar options available on ABIT boards quite some time ago.

LogoGenie, on the other hand, is a feature which not many choose to implement. LogoGenie allows you to replace the standard POSTing screen with a 640x480x16 bitmap. Though you and I might not find this too useful, OEMs should have a blast by splashing their logo on bootup.

Clockometer is a feature which allows you to modify FSB speeds from Windows as opposed to the normal BIOS entry method.

Audio Alert II is an optional feature that comes as a daughterboard to plug into the AZ11E. Its something similar to Soltek's VD-Tech in that a voice message is played upon boot up in case any errors occur. If you don't like the voices that are included in the chip, software is included for the user to make custom voice messages and greetings that can be stored.

Overclocking & Stability

The inclusion of multiplier adjustments is probably the most noticeable change between the AZ11 and the AZ11E. Using an unlocked Duron 600, we were able to overclock the chip to a good 950MHz at a 1.75Vcore. This is the maximum we could squeeze with the AZ11E. Getting it up that high is definitely good, but it certainly isn't the best we have seen. We were able to overclock the same chip to 1GHz with a Soltek board in a previous review. Still, the AZ11E is quite a formidable overclocking solution.

Stability-wise, we are quite content with this board. For the most part, the AZ11E is crash-free. Only during our Winstone tests did we find it falter a time or two. Under normal usage, we don't seem to have any complaints.

Conclusion

After going through feature-after-feature, benchmark-after-benchmark, were we satisfied that the AZ11E is a valid solution for the Socket A platform? For the money you for pay for this board, you certainly get a good bang for the buck. The software bundle is almost to the point of being exhaustive, it performs well and is a strong overclocker.

The 686B Southbridge offers ATA/100 which adds to the longevity of this product to a certain extent. We did find that the AZ11E doesn't provide much room for oversized heatsinks. We tried to install a Thermaltake Chrome Orb but the area around the socket was just a bit over occupied.

Overall, we liked this board quite a bit though we would have preferred greater control of the board from its BIOS. But don't get me wrong, the AZ11E has more features than you can think of and then some...

< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Motherboards News»

 

Contents of Article: FIC AZ11E
 Pg 1.  FIC AZ11E VIA KT133 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  First Impressions
 Pg 3.  Test Bed Setup and Benchmarks
 Pg 4.  Quake 3
 Pg 5.  — NOVUS II

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