With all the buzz surrounding AMD's DDR chipset, AMD-760, we've been eagerly awaiting 760 motherboards since the platform was launched in late October. Earlier this week we showed you Gigabyte's first offering, the GA-7DXC. From what we saw, being the first board on the block bought Gigabyte extra sales at the cost of features. The GA-7DXC doesn't officially support 266MHz front side bus; a feature we've seen contributes to the majority of 760's performance over KT133. Fortunately, the board we're reviewing today, FIC's AD11, doesn't have this flaw.
The FIC AD11
Long regarded as a motherboard provider for OEMs and system vendors, FIC has recently begun to embrace the enthusiast community. Their last product of 2000, (the AZ11E) offered many settings for overclockers, including the ability to adjust the CPU clock multiplier. With its good performance and reliability, the AZ11E was a step in the right direction for the company, which is why we were enthusiastic about the AD11 when we first saw it at Comdex last year.
Like the AZ11E, the AD11 supports clock multiplier adjustment for overclocking your CPU. Bus speed manipulation and CPU core voltage can also be adjusted, although bus parameters are the only overclocking settings available within BIOS -- FIC may be ready to take a stab at the enthusiast market, but the bulk of their sales still comes from system manufacturers (who don't want their customers accessing these features in their systems).
If you've been shopping for a 760 board lately, you're also going to need DDR memory. While PC1600 memory is readily available on the market, we've seen its performance just squeaks by KT133 in most applications. To get the most out of 760 you really need PC2100 DDR memory, which, at the moment, is hard to find at retail and often expensive. Realizing this, FIC has been bundling their AD11 with 128MB of PC2100 DDR memory from Smart Modular Technologies. These AD11/DDR SDRAM bundles will only be available for a limited time and will likely be in very high demand. By bundling DDR memory with the AD11, FIC is doing their part to make DDR mainstream.