FIC KW-15 Motherboard Evaluation

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Conclusions and Recommendations

Overall the FIC KW15 should find an appropriate home in computers that run mainly office applications and 2D oriented graphics work. The KW15’s stability under very heavy stress testing was excellent and among the best i810e boards I’ve tested. I would think this board would be a good fit for many companies looking for a board to handle a large variety of end user situations.

Just keep in mind, this board really isn’t meant for the home tweaker or gamer and will disappoint those that try to employ it within that realm. As a business tool though, the i810e based KW15 makes for a flexible and attractive offering from FIC.

Things to like:

  • Dual slot architecture gives a lot of flexibility in processor choices (PII, PIII, FCPGA, Celeron, etc).
  • Integrated video more mature and stable than when originally introduced
  • KW15 stability under Win98 and NT was excellent with processors at default speeds.
  • Low cost
  • Easy to setup and get working

Things to improve:

  • BIOS upgrade to add in support for ¼ PCI divisor for 133MHz FSB speeds
  • S370 slot not as overclock friendly as the Slot 1.
  • Soft power ATX switch acted unpredictably and did not always function correctly.
  • The board didn’t always adapt to processor changes, occassionally requiring the CMOS to be cleared to defaults for proper booting.

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