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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just saw an ad for a FIC AT31 ATI IGP320 mATX Motherboard


It's a Socket A motherboard using ATIs integrated chipset. It has integrated Radeon video and SPDIF output. Seems like an extremely cheap way of getting into a new HTPC. Prices on the net are in the $80 dollar range.


My biggest concern would be the quality of the integrated video (which is Radeon VE) vs. the 7500 or 9000.



Has anyone tried this little guy out?


-jp
 

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FIC? yuk. Not the best reputation around. Then again, at least its not PcChips/Amptron/ECS.
 

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FIC isn't that bad. They used to be better, but then jumped on the "cheap" motherboard craze. Meanwhile, Epox, Asus, and Abit continue to provide the best and most stable boards out there...MSI I hear is getting better too!
 

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I searched the net and found a few articles on this mobo.


Not good Im afraid. Seems that FIC had to recall the first batch that were sold because of instability, and they were going to re-release them at a later date. Dont know if the ones I found on Pricewatch are a "new" batch or just the recalled ones being dumped, but either way Id stay away.


-Chris
 

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I used to buy and sell Abit boards alot, until my beloved KA7 started leaking electrolyte out of most of the capacitors. :(
 

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I've spent too much over the years on Epox and one by one the boards have let me down.


The only stable boards at home are running Intel 815E chipsets and are intel micro ATX boards. Intel boards seem to add the final spit and polish that makes a board more stable that you just cant find outside of OEM circles. I do have a dual MSI that has proven reliable and delivers what was promised.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by MrPenPad
I've spent too much over the years on Epox and one by one the boards have let me down.


The only stable boards at home are running Intel 815E chipsets and are intel micro ATX boards. Intel boards seem to add the final spit and polish that makes a board more stable that you just cant find outside of OEM circles. I do have a dual MSI that has proven reliable and delivers what was promised.
A hearty agreement here about Intel.


I have 2 815EPEA2 boards, an L440GX+ and STL2 (both dual Pentium III), an 815E-based Gateway (got it cheap at a dot-com fire sale), and a D845GRG (socket 478) that runs my HTPC. I also have several older machines using SE440BX-2 boards (one dedicated to answering my phone), and haven't had any trouble with any of them. The only Intel board that wasn't any good was the CC820, and even with its memory bus hardware design flaws (Intel admitted to these and offered free exchanges for a newer boards), I used one for over a year running Windows NT and got an average on one blue-screen memory failure every month.


My only non-Intel board is an ancient Tyan Tomcat IV (dual Pentium) that runs my Linux server.
 

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I agree about Intel boards being very stable and I have to say that I have never had a problem with gigabyte boards. Rock solid IMHO. I also stick with Intel since one AMD computer almost caught fire with the amount of heat and melted the fan on top of it.
 

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I can't find any info about the MB have SPDIF output. All I see is a TV out header. Can you provide a link to this info.


Thanks,

NickB
 

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I just ordered an Intel D845WNL (refurb) from NewEgg for 39 bux shipped. Its a refurb, so if it doesnt work it doesnt work..........at 39 bux I figure its worth a shot.


Plus I can still use the 1GB of PC133 I have lyin around, and if the board does work the $$$ I saved can go towards a better video or audio card.


-Chris
 

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I think this is the first iteration of ATi's integrated chipset. As such it may have teething problems. I would wait until it gets more coverage on the hardware sites. Or has it already and I missed it?
 

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Hi Paladyn:


___I had a lot of faith in the Abit boards up through the BX chipset but afterwards, all Asus.


___Remember the thermistor prongs under the AMD chip equipped boards not being bent down maybe 2-1/2 years ago? You know, so there was never a chip on it so how could the board been proven to work at the Taiwanese Abit manufacturing facility?


___In the case of an HTPC, performance requirements are so far below that of the latest and greatest, I have to agree that the Intel boards of late are a great choice although the OC’er will scream in protest. It’s not for me but for the average HTPC’er, you usually can’t purchase better …


___My reason for recommending the Asus boards over most of the others is that they usually OC to the highest levels. In other words, at non-OC’ed frequencies, they have a larger stability buffer than most and this does appear to show up as a more stable setup overall whether OC’ed or not.


___As for FIC, not a chance.


___Good Luck


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 

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Hei Paladyn,


Wow.. it's strange that I'm not the only w/ that exact problem on the KA7. I just noticed it recently too. About 3-4 months ago, my computer started to give me problem when booting up.. sometimes it won't boot at all, sometimes it boots W2K halfway then crashed, sometimes it boots normally. At first I thought it was my hard drive about to give up.. either that or it was my power supply. If I didn't turn off the computer, everything works perfectly. Then just last week, I swapped the HD and the power supply... still same problem. Then I look closely to my motherboard, at first it seems like there's nothing wrong, then I noticed on 1 of the capacitor it has kinda like a rust build-up, paying more attention to the board.. I noticed a lot more capacitor w/ the same problem.. at least 8-10 of them.. and almost all the other caps, the top became kinda rounded instead of perfect flat. Well, that was an unexpected upgrade for me... cost me $109 to go from Athlon 700MHz on Abit KA7 to Duron 1.3GHz on Shuttle AK32. I had the Abit since mid 99.


Joel

Quote:
Originally posted by Paladyn
I used to buy and sell Abit boards alot, until my beloved KA7 started leaking electrolyte out of most of the capacitors. :(
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Paladyn
I used to buy and sell Abit boards alot, until my beloved KA7 started leaking electrolyte out of most of the capacitors. :(
http://www.niccomp.com/taiwanlowesr.htm


Quick summary: Leaking (aluminum) caps are now a recognized industry problem. Apparently some of the capacitor manufacturers got the same bad unstable formula/electrolyte source, and all the problems are now showing up in the field in unprecedented numbers. Apparently these manufacturers are now known.


I'd be real careful buying anything with caps of known bad sources, and probably insist on a replacement from manufacturer even if the item is out of warranty...
 

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Good information. My computer just died. Same problems as discussed above. I noticed a leaking cap as well. Decided to try fixing it myself without success. I contacted MSI...I think I'm about 1 week out of the 2 year warranty :( They will probably fix it; however, I'm not sure how they will respond to my obvious fix attempts...hard to get a nice solder joint like a flow solder machine makes. Anyway, I'm going to try to put the bad cap back on the board and ship this sucker off to MSI and see what they say.
 
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