Page 14: FIC
Also know as First Mainboards. FIC has been around for quite some time, over 20 years which makes them more senior then most motherboard companies. They have a lot of manufacturing capabilities, and definitely produce boards for other companies. They often target the OEM market.
Boards by FIC rarely perform, generally in the last third of the benchmarks, their boards are geared to OEMs and others that just want a cheap board. FIC has no problem sacrificing performance for stability, and they do so on a regular basis.
The most stable board I've ever had the privilege of testing was made by FIC. I've never been able to get a board to crash on me, the AD11 just wouldn't budge. Most of their boards are geared for OEMs, and as such, are stable. Occasionally they do have a board out that isn't the most stable, but it rarely is bad.
FIC boards do have some overclocking options, but are not tuned for it. They have moderate overclocking results, and some of the finer functions need to be done by switches on the board itself. For all but the most hardcore overclocker, their options are fine.
Geared as a OEM board, the pricing is generally on the lower side. With only the most needed features onboard, FIC is a very reasonable solution of the do it yourselfer.
Onboard sound is a standard feature on FIC boards, and occasionally you'll get RAID with them. FIC has the best software package I've seen on any motherboard, including a bunch of Norton Utilities, Anti-virus, and the standard compliment of temperature monitoring and drivers. RAID is rare, and isn't something you'll likely find.
In this case there are no glaring mistakes, or reports of DOAs or boards dying in the future. The only issue I do have with them is that they don't prepare for future hardware, an example is that many of their boards will not support the Athlon XP, even though all others with the same chipset do. This is a serious problem, and should be fixed. Of course if you have an Intel board, there is no problem, since they will likely change sockets on you anyway.
The FIC webpage is first class, with the support features, and a request for tech support via e-mail. From personal experience I know they are a good company to deal with, emails answered timely and well.
Products worth mentioning
The AD11 being the only board I couldn't crash has to be mentioned. I thought I lost my touch for a while, but I know I still got it, as I went back to school and kindly crashed some Intel chipsets, DELLs suck. The AN11 has similar characteristics, and has RAID, I'd definitely give that board a go.
Overall Rating: 5.9/10 They make a good stable board, they aren't fast and are usually quite plain. They won't disappoint an average user. There should be a comment here about their board layout. FIC lays the components out on the board to maximize the stability and minimize the cost, this can make it extremely difficult to install certain HSFs, and impossible for others. If you don't want to crack the core, be careful.
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