FIC FB11 Motherboard Evaluation

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Recommendations and Conclusions

This motherboard shows all of the stability, reliability and performance that we have come to expect from Intel i440BX based motherboards. FIC claims it will support 1GHz+ processors, but I was unable to verify this, as my fastest test processor is 667MHz. I was also obviously unable to verify compatibility with VIA-Cyrix processors.

It appears that FIC has a real winner with this motherboard. Socket 370 design to take the new FC-PGA Intel Coppermine processors, a tried-and-true chipset with great performance and stability and four DIMM slots to take up to 1GB of PC133 SDRAM. If you must have a BX based board, this one definitely deserves a good look.

Based upon my tests, I have the following set of observations/recommendations

  • The BX chipset officially supports FSB speeds up to 100MHz, however it has been proven over time that it will handle 133MHz with no problems. The PCI bus runs at 33MHz when the FSB is at 133MHz, so there should be no problems with this speed at all.
  • I did run my PIII 500E at 750MHz (5x150MHz) for 8 hours without any failures at all. Note, however, that the PCI bus runs at 37.5MHz and that the memory must be able to handle this speed.
  • I tested with 512MB of memory without any problems. The board is designed to take up to 1GB of SDRAM, however this would probably require stacked modules, which could cause loading issues.

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