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Socket 7 Board Review July 1998

FIC PA-2013

ATX motherboard, VIA Apollo MVP3 Chipset, 1 MB L2 Cache, 4 PCI, 2 ISA, AG Slot, 3 DIMM sockets. Voltages: 3.5 - 1.8V.

Many of you have asked us to review the ATX version of the VA-503+. Okay, here we go now. As FIC's BAT motherboard was one of the very fastest it is only logical to suppose it should reach similar performance. And you won't be disappointed: The board fulfils most performance expectation; it's even the clear Quake II hotshot.

FIC equippes the board with 4x 2 MBit Cache chips. This would allow it to be equipped with 2 MB L2 cache as well. But so far I regret we didn't get any 2 MB board for a review.

2 ISA slots are standard, 4 PCI slots are common and should be enought for most multimedia boards. FIC doesn't provide SIMM sockets, so this board is merely useful for new systems, not for upgraders. At least the asynchronous memory mode option is present. So you are not forced to buy PC-100 SDRAM immediately.

The board supports 112 and 124 MHz external clock speed which both seems to run very stable. However neither FIC nor we do guarantee its stability over 100 MHz of course.

The board has all modern motherboard features and also proved to run totally stable. Thus it is the second ATX motherboard best suited for overclockers besides the Asus P5A. Both are fast, reliable and very flexible regarding the bus frequency settings.