Motherboard: FIC AT31 & ATI IGP320 Chipset Review :: The Board

01-23-2003 · Category: Motherboards

By Niso Levitas

Board Revision1.4
BIOS Version08/08/2002 TBA42
Default Clock Speed (MHz)1667
North BridgeATI IGP320
South BridgeVIA VT82686B
Number of PCI slots3
Memory typeDDR200/266
Number of memory slots2
Maximum Memory (GB)2
Universal AGP support *Yes
AGP Pro SupportN/A
Number of Physical USB 1.1 ports **2
Number of Physical USB 2.0 ports **4
Active Cooling on ChipsetYes
Adjustable AGP VoltageN/A
Adjustable Memory voltageN/A
Southbridge UDMA 133 SupportN/A
IDE or RAID Controller other than SouthbridgeN/A
Auto speed-down/shutdown on fan failureN/A
Auto speed-down/shutdown on heat alarmN/A
On-board SoundAC97 Avance Logic ALC201A
On-board LANRealtek RTL8100BL
* Voltage and Physical support for previous generation of AGP
** Not just pin headers onboard

The north bridge of the AT31 motherboard is ATI IGP320 Graphics Integrated chip and the south bridge is the good old VIA VT82686B. It doesn't support UDMA 133 as the new VIA Southbridge does. The CPU-memory bandwidth doesn't prove to be any good in performance tests.

On-board graphics option works fine other than for some CAD-CAM applications. Performance is less than mediocre which I will in the performance section. According to the manual the Radeon VE graphics is integrated into the chipset. There is a TV-Out option if you buy the gift package version. A bracket with Composite and S Video outputs were included in the package.

I couldn't find any bandwidth or technical documents about IGP320 neither on the ATI or the FIC site. It would be good to have technical documents about it, like all of the other chipsets.

There was standard AC97 stereo sound support with Sound Blaster emulation but if you enable it, your system performance may go down up to 30-35 %. You can read more about this in performance section.

It has an on-board Realtek 8100B LAN chip for 100 MBit Fast Ethernet support. The motherboard supports Wake on LAN, Modem Ring On, and Chassis Intruder Alert.

Unfortunately there are only two USB 1.1 physical ports for this motherboard. An optional USB bracket to connect to the motherboard hasn't been included even in the gift package. Two USB ports just don't cut it even for small form factor these days.

Other than above options there is not much to say. Unfortunately this motherboard doesn't support any CPU overheat or burning protection either.