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FIC VC17 (845D) Pentium 4 Mainboard

Back in January of 2002 we published an exclusive review of FICís VC15 mainboard; the first FIC Pentium 4 board based on the 845D chipset. As from our expectations, the VC15 performed quite well in all of our tests and has gotten our safe approval for an 845D purchase.

  • Intel 845D Chipset
  • 6 PCI slots
  • Northwood Ready
  • Optional LAN
  • 5.1 AUDIO
  • 3 DDR Slots
  • ATA/133 IDE RAID

FIC Web Site

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Only a few days ago FIC provided us with a sample of their newest VC17 board giving us again the chance to be the first site to provide an exclusive look at their newest Pentium 4 845D board. The VC17 is quite similar to the previously reviewed VC15 mainboard; both share almost an identical PCB and options; the VC17 however offers more features for the price.

The Pentium 4 was introduced along with Intelís 850 chipset, not long ago it was the only solution available for the Pentium 4; obligating people to use it without giving them choice to go with an alternative solution.

The 850 is Intelís high end solution for the Pentium 4, mainboards based on the 850 cost more and use the more expensive RDRAM memory. In order to spread the Pentium 4 more into the mainstream market, an alternate chipset had to be introduced.

Intelís 845 is the solution to the mainstream market; the chip costs lower to produce, the new core logic allows mainboard makers to get back to the lower cost four-layer PCBís and at the same time takes use of the less expensive SDRAM or DDR SDRAM memory.

Intel 845 chipset

Intel introduced their 845 chipset earlier this last year in order to accommodate their Pentium 4 with a value segment chip which costs less to produce and eliminating the need of using the expensive RDRAM memory. SDRAM PC133 memory was unfortunately the only choice due their agreement with Rambus stating that Intel was not allowed to produce a non RDRAM chipset supporting a memory subsystem with a bandwidth higher than 1.06/GB/sec until 2002, limiting the 845 only to the less powerful SDRAM PC133 memory. Intelís 845/ SDRAM 1.06GB/s clearly wasnít enough to accommodate the Pentium 4 3.2GB/sec bandwidth; the 845 SDRAM performances was suffering compared to the 850 chip which takes full use of the 3.2GB/s bandwidth.

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