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FIC AD11 SocketA DDR Motherboard

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 sense.

The Board
  • Socket A AMD CPU support
  • DDR SDRAM support
  • AMD 761 & VIA 686B chips
  • ATA-100 Support
  • Onboard sound
  • 1 AGP, 5 PCI, 1 CNR
  • 2 DDR Dimm slots
  • 3D PCI sound on board
  • 8.8" x 12"


(click for a larger picture)

FIC AD11 Page

Approx $150 USD

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First Impressions

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. Oh well.


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