Foxconn WinFast NF4K8MC-RS Motherboard Review :: The Board

04-01-2005 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun
Foxconn NF4K8MC-RS Spec Sheet
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Motherboard Photo
Part NumberNF4K8MC-RS
ManufacturerFoxconn
Price CheckFind Best Price
DownloadsBIOS
Drivers
Manuals
ChipsetNvidia nForce4
North BridgeNvidia nForce4 MCP
SocketSocket 939
Processor TypesAthlon 64, Athlon 64 FX
Number of CPUs1
Front Side Bus1GHz HyperTransport Bus Link
Memory TypeDDR
Memory ChannelsDual
Maximum Memory2GB
External GraphicsPCI Express x16
IGP None
South BridgeNvidia nForce4 MCP
Audio6-channel
IDE133/100/66/33
SCSINone
SATA1.5 GB/s
RAID0, 1, 0+1
LAN10/100
FirewireNone
USBUSB 2.0
Expansion Slots
  • 2 x PCI
  • 1 x PCI Express x1
  • 1 x PCI Express x16
BIOSAWARD
Form FactormicroATX
Motherboard Photo

The board is based upon NVIDIA's standard nForce4 chipset. This supports all current Socket 939 CPUs including the 4000+ and FX-55 released last year. The Athlon 64 CPU integrates the memory controller onto the CPU, alleviating the need for a separate North and South Bridge. NVIDIA instead uses a MCP (Media Communications Processor) for both functions. Foxconn provided a 9-fin fan over the MCP chip. The nForce4 chipset has a Hyper Transport bus speed of 1000MHz, which is up from the 800MHz found on the nForce3. Foxconn only provided their board with 2 DIMM (Dual In-line Memory Modules), supporting up to 2 GB of unbuffered non-ECC DDR memory. No currently available AMD chipset supports DDR2 memory; we'll have to wait until next year for this support to materialize.


Foxconn WinFast NF4K8MC-RS Motherboard Review CPU Socket

CPU Socket

Foxconn WinFast NF4K8MC-RS Motherboard Review DIMMS

DIMMS

Foxconn WinFast NF4K8MC-RS Motherboard Review Resistors

Resistors

Foxconn WinFast NF4K8MC-RS Motherboard Review MCP Fan

MCP Fan


The form factor on the board is micro-ATX, allowing it to fit easily in small cases or large cases alike. One consequence of using the micro-ATX form factor is lack of expansion options. The NF4K8MC-RS comes with one PCI Express X16 slot for the graphics card, two regular PCI slots and a PCI express X1 slot. This limits expansion options for adding things like a television tuner or a SCSI card, or a Wireless Network card to 2 PCI cards and one PCI Express device.


Foxconn WinFast NF4K8MC-RS Motherboard Review Expansion slots

Expansion slots

Foxconn WinFast NF4K8MC-RS Motherboard Review SATA

SATA

Foxconn WinFast NF4K8MC-RS Motherboard Review PATA ports

PATA ports


Drive support on the motherboard is standard. Two PATA ports are present allowing for the connection of 4 IDE devices (HDDs, CD-ROMs, etc). Four SATA I ports are present, allowing for the attachment of 4 SATA drives. One floppy drive port is present allowing for the attachment of a floppy or Zip drive. SATA drives are controlled by NVIDIA's MCP chip, as no secondary SATA controller is included with the board. The nForce4 supports RAID 0, 0+1, 10 and cross controller (SATA+ATA) modes.

Integrated audio comes by the Realtek ALC655 audio CODEC. This CODEC provides for 5.1 surround sound and supports the various sound APIs including A3D, Creative Labs EAX 2.0 and DirectSound. I wish Foxconn had included support for 7.1 surround sound with a CODEC like the 880, but that is found on the ERS model. It is likely we will see better support for sound in later models of the nForce4 on the Intel platform (High Definition Audio). I hope that that will trickle down to NVIDIA's AMD platform as well.


Foxconn WinFast NF4K8MC-RS Motherboard Review
Foxconn WinFast NF4K8MC-RS Motherboard Review
Foxconn WinFast NF4K8MC-RS Motherboard Review
Foxconn WinFast NF4K8MC-RS Motherboard Review

On-board LAN is provided by an Integrated Fast Ethernet (10/100 Mbps) MAC and PHY controller. Most motherboard manufacturers include Gigabit Ethernet with their modern boards, and it's a bit of a disappointment that the board only included the 10/100 connect. If you want a board with Gigabit Ethernet from Foxconn you need the CK804K8MA-KRS or the NFUK8AA-8EKRS board on the Ultra chipset.

The back panel on the NF4K8MC-RS is as standard as you can get from a motherboard today. Available ports include the standard PS/2 keyboard, PS/2 mouse ports, a RJ-45 jack for the LAN, 4 USB 2.0 prots, 1 Line-in/line-out/mic (audio ports), 1 parallel port, and 1 COM port. Missing from the back panel is an additional COM port, and a Firewire port, found on another model of Foxconn's nForce4 lineup, the ERS.