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Overclocking

When we think of overclocking we don't typically think of FIC. Take heart friends, included on the board is a jumper to allow FSB manipulation. What is unusual is that in the manual this jumper is referred to as "for future ratio-unlocked CPU use". Maybe FIC knows something that we don't. AMD, if you are listening, we'd love to have unlocked CPUs again! Also included with this board is a jumper for CPU core voltage manipulation. That's a feature many a motherboard manufacturer would shy away from including. One nice feature I found in the BIOS was the inclusion of 4 bank interleave for memory tweaking. Every motherboard should have this option but many do not. Another welcome feature is the inclusion of BIOS based FSB manipulation. BTW - the pic on this page must have been an early production version of the board. Different PCB color and jumpers above the southbridge.

I got up to 140 MHz with the AN11 which is not as good as the 155 MHz FSB that I had with the Soltek SL-75DRV2. As pointed out to me by a reader the AN11 also doesn't feature DDR memory voltage tweaks nor does it have AGP voltage adjustments like the Soltek board so I consider this board a candidate for light overclocking.

Software

I've already mentioned the included CD with Norton Antivirus, Norton Personal Firewall, and Norton Ghost. All are worthwhile products and their inclusion sweetens the AN11's package.

Conclusions

The Soltek SL-75DRV2 narrowly beat the FIC AN11 in every benchmark. We have to factor in at this point the fact that the AN11 offers many features that other boards don't. The inclusion of on-board IDE RAID, the second ATA-100 IDE ribbon cable to enable RAID, the extra USB ports, and the outstanding stability I experienced with the AN11 give it a lot of merit. FIC is doing a very good job of building a product for a niche market who wants very flexible storage management while still offering competitive performance at a very reasonable price. It isn't the overclocking monster that the SL-75DRV2 is but those of you who will base your purchase on other areas should give this board a serious looking at.

Victor Oshiro January 28, 2002

 





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