FIC SD11 Motherboard Evaluation

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Conclusions and Recommendations

We were expecting to find a number of stability and compatibility issues with this product, and as a result tried our best to really identify as many problems as possible. To our surprise, we actually found only a few problems, as noted in the test results section.

The biggest issue, from our standpoint, is that a quality case be used which will provide proper airflow. All of our testing is done outside of a case in a very well ventilated area, so airflow is generally not a problem. It appears that the higher power requirements of the processor and chipset will require special attention to this matter, otherwise the user may experience heat related problems.

Overall, the motherboard proved to be much more stable under all operating systems tested than many, including ourselves, had expected. Our tests were very rigorous, and this product passed almost every one without any trouble. Based upon these results, we believe that this product meets all of the needs of those needing a fast and stable system.

We did not run any server specific tests so we cannot comment at this time on the suitability as a high-end server, however most small and mid-sized businesses will likely find this suitable for their server needs. For the majority of users this motherboard should be able to handle just about anything thrown at it, whether it be used a workstation or fast gaming system.

Based upon our tests, we have the following set of recommendations.

  • As noted in the Overview section, production boards will not require special power supplies and will likely have a newer BIOS, however we still recommend that users evaluate their present power supply, and suggest that a $50 investment towards one that is on the ‘approved’ list would be well spent.
  • Cooling is obviously an issue with the additional power requirements, so a good case with proper airflow is essential. A new case may be in order for those who have opted for $30 Computer Show specials in the past, but short of that a good case fan is highly recommended as is securing all cables to minimize any impedance to the airflow
  • Consult the FIC hardware compatibility list to ensure that all of your components are listed (see the ‘resources’ section of this review). If your component is not there, it does not mean it definitely will not work but you should be prepared to replace it if it doesn’t. Forewarned is forearmed.
  • If you do encounter problems of stability or compatibility, spend some time making sure that all drivers are installed correctly, that you have a proper cooling solution and your power supply is not the culprit. Troubleshooting such issues can be difficult for a vendor or manufacturer because they don’t have the entire system available to them. Working with the manufacturer and vendor is the best way to be sure all issues are resolved more quickly.

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