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Life in the Fast Lane: New Boards for the Athlon 64

WinFast NF4K8MC (µATX)

Board Revision: 1.0

BIOS Version: ?

This is the second mainboard that Foxconn sent us to test. The NF4K8MC is a MicroATX model, and actually has all the qualities of a typical nForce4 motherboard. The compact format does have its limitations, however: there are only two DIMM sockets, one x1 PCIe slot and two 32 bit PCI slots. On the plus side, there are still the four SATA connections for SATA II with Command Queuing, the NVIDIA network controller with ActiveArmor firewall, and two UltraATA/100 channels. For good measure, the maker also put a FireWire chip on the board.

Unfortunately, we were unable to establish stable operation with 1T timings; 3DMark 2005 was only stable under 2T timings. As expected though the ideal settings of CL2.0-2-2-5 proved no problem.

The box contained a CD with Norton Internet Security 2005 and Word Perfect Office 12, along with a handbook and the usual collection of cables. Foxconn supplies a driver diskette for the Silicon Image Controller too, which is good to see.