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

Winfast NF4UK8AA

Board Revision: 1.1

BIOS Version: ?

Winfast's NF4UK8AA also offers four PCI slots, something one does not really expect these days. The board is based on NVIDIA's nForce4 Ultra and so comes with four SATA connections supporting SATA II and Command Queuing. There are also two x1 PCIe slots, two UltraATA/100 channels, a 7.1 sound system based on AC97 standards and a FireWire port.

For the first time, the actual manufacturer, Foxconn, is now mentioned a little more prominently on the market - it appears in the form of a sticker on the bottom PCI slot. It's too bad that the board is a head turner acoustically, as the chipset fan is hardly the quietest around. And almost all plug-in components are color-coded - except where this would make most sense, such as the pin panel.

On the positive side, the mobo offers all conceivable manner of overclocking features, and the potential to break the 300 MHz system clock barrier. This is a new departure for Foxconn, whose products in the past tended to operate more conservatively.

The Winfast board features a coaxial digital output for the sound system.

The handbook is detailed and easy to understand even for novices, and the package contents are useful.