- Expansion Configuration and Chipsets
The FIC AZ11EA uses the same 1/5/1 (AGP/PCI/CNR) layout as the original AZ11 and AZ11E. All 5 PCI slots are Busmaster slots and can accommodate Busmaster PCI cards. The AZ11EA uses the popular KT133A Northbridge, unlike all KT133 based boards FSB overclocking beyond 110MHz FSB is now possible.
Paired with the 686B Southbridge this AZ11E supports native ATA-100 IDE. 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.
- Overclocking Options
Next to the FDD connector are 2 banks of 4 dipswitches. These dipswitches control the overclocking options of the motherboard. The switches above the FDD connector control the CPU multiplier option for AMD Athlon/Duron CPU's. Provided your CPU is factory unlocked or you have unlocked the CPY yourself you can overclock your CPU by changing the multiplier of the CPU. The jumper beside the multiplier dipswitches is the FID override jumper. When set at its default position the multiplier adjustment switches are not active even if the CPU is unlocked. The Switches located to the right of the FDD connector control the Vcore voltage. These switches can set the Vcore from 1.45 all the way up to 1.85V on 0.25V increments. Near the CPU Socket A there is a jumper labeled ADV, when in its default position the Vcore switches are disabled, when in the overclock position the Vcore switches are active.
- Audio Alert II Module
The AZ11EA can be equipped with an option Audio Alert II module, this module is a voice diagnostic tool. Like AOpen's new Dr Voice, this device tells you in English or the language of your choice when there is something wrong with either your memory, CPU or video card. Unlike other Voice diagnostic programs that run through the PC speaker, this one runs through the onboard AC'97 sound processor.
- CPU Socket Area
The CPU Socket is a bit crowded and does make installation of Orb coolers a bit hard, however, installation of the Alpha PEP66 cooler in its factory default position is possible. While the Orb coolers are hard to install on this board they aren't imposable, extra care needs to be taken when installing the cooler at the rear end near the black capacitors.