- Expansion Configuration
The FIC AD11 uses the same 1/5/1 (AGP/PCI/CNR) layout as the original AZ11 and AZ11E. All five PCI slots are Busmaster slots and can accommodate Busmaster PCI cards, while the new AMD 760 chipset can support 6 PCI busmasters it's a wonder why a sixth PCI slot wasn't used. This is another board that uses the CNR slot over the traditional and still useful ISA slot. As most of you know by now, CNR and AMR slots use the CPU cycles to run the devices accommodating the AMR and CNR expansion slots. Most of the cards used on CNR are Winmodems, Software Soundcards and Software NIC's. Most of these devices are available in ISA format. ISA devices are 90% hardware driven and require no CPU cycles to run devices on the ISA bus.
The AD11 is based on the new AMD 760 DDR based chipset. This new chipset brings DDR SDRAM to the system memory. Rather than use the AMD 766 Viper2 Southbridge, FIC have elected to pair the AMD 760 Northbridge with the VIA 686B Southbridge. FIC explained to us that the reason they have elected to use the VIA 686B Southbridge is that VIA's drivers for it's ATA-100 are faster and more frequently updated than AMD's. Before we get into the specifics, we would like to explain a bit about DDR SDRAM.
What is DDR?
DDR SDRAM is a acronym for Double Data Rate SDRAM. DDR SDRAM doubles the data rate of currant SDRAM technology by sending 2x the data per clock cycle. DDR SDRAM is able to provide a total bandwidth of 2.1GB/s, this is a more than double the rate of currant PC133 which delivers 1.06GB/s.