Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS Motherboard Review
By Daniel Barros on July 13, 2006


Introduction

Hardware Secrets Golden Award

Foxconn, a traditional player on the OEM market, entered the retail market a while ago using its own brand. For the AMD platform Foxconn is using WinFast brand, which was licensed from Leadtek. WinFast 6100K8MA-RS is a socket 939 motherboard based on GeForce 6100, a chipset from NVIDIA with embedded graphics, supporting Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 X2 and Opteron CPUs.

We were very curious to see how GeForce 6100 performed and to compared it to entry-level VGAs like GeForce 6200 and also to its main competitor, Radeon Xpress 200 (RS482) from ATI, which is based on Radeon X300. Check it out.

You can learn more about GeForce 6100 family reading our NVIDIA GeForce 6100 and nForce 400 Chipset Family article.

We also have reviewed the socket 754 version of this motherboard.

Winfast 6100K8MA-RS
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Figure 1: Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS motherboard.

Since it is an entry-level motherboard it doesnít have a fancy look. Its memory sockets are black and white in order to differentiate the memory channels. GeForce 6100 and nForce 410 chips use a silver passive heatsinks (i.e., fanless).
 
During our tests these heatsinks heated a lot, meaning that it is advisable to install this motherboard in a well-ventilated case, preferably with an extra fan.

Winfast 6100K8MA-RS
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Figure 2: GeForce 6100 and nForce 410 passive heatsinks.

As WinFast 6100K8MA-RS is a microATX motherboard, its layout is very compact, but it has a good manufacturing quality, using Taiwanese capacitors from OST Ė which are also used by ASUS Ė and some Japanese from Chemi-com.

This motherboard has on-board video, audio and LAN, using a nForce 410 south bridge, which brings two Serial ATA 300 MB/s (RAID 0 and 1) ports supporting NCQ (Native Command Queuing).

Winfast 6100K8MA-RS
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Figure 3: Two SATA-300 ports.

It has four DDR-DIMM sockets, accepting up to 4 GB of DDR266/333/400 memory. Foxconn used white on sockets 1 and 2 and black on sockets 3 and 4. To use DDR Dual Channel feature you need to install the memory modules on sockets with the same color.

Winfast 6100K8MA-RS
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Figure 4: Detail of the memory sockets.

Its on-board audio is controlled by nForce 410 south bridge together with 6-channel Realtek ALC655 codec. Its on-board LAN is 10/100 and is also controlled by its south bridge, using a Realtek RTL8201BL chip to make its interface with the physical layer. This board was also eight USB 2.0 ports, four soldered directlty to the motherboard and four available through I/O brackets, which donít come with the motherboard.

Winfast 6100K8MA-RS
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Figure 5: WinFast 6100K8MA-RS rear panel.

Since it is a very simple motherboard, it carries only a few accessories: a Serial ATA cable, a Serial ATA power adapter and a 80-wire IDE cable.

Besides the motherboard drivers and utilities you will find Norton Internet Security 2005 OEM (90 days trial) on the CD-ROM that comes with this motherboard.

Main Specifications

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS main features are:

* Researched at Pricewatch.com on the day we published this review.

How We Tested

During our benchmarking sessions we used the conFiguretion listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the motherboard being tested.
 
Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

Driver Versions

Used Software

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

Overall Performance

We measured the overall performance of this motherboard using SYSmark2004, which is a software that simulates the use of real-world applications. Thus, we consider this the best software to measure, in practical terms, the system performance.

The benchmarks are divided into two groups:


The software delivers specific results for each batch and also an overall performance result, all in a specific SYSmark2004 unit.

We selected the following motherboards to compare to WinFast 6100K8MA-RS: Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS (nForce 4 Ultra) and ECS RS482-M (Radeon Xpress 200 - RS482 + SB400).

The motherboards were tested two times. One with their on-board video enabled and another using a GeForce 6600 GT 128 MB installed in order to see if their on-board video played any role on the motherboard processing performance. We also used this configuration to see how was the performance of the reviewed motherboard compared to a mainstream motherboard based on nForce 4 Ultra chipset with a GeForce 6600 GT installed.

The results published on this review cannot be compared to the results from other reviews we published, as the BIOS and drivers we used were newer ones.

You can see the results on the chart below.

SYSmark 2004 - Score

Score 

Difference

Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS (nForce4 Ultra) + GeForce 6600 GT 

189

 +5.00%

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS (GeForce 6100 + nForce 410) on-board

180

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS (GeForce 6100 + nForce 410) + GeForce 6600 GT 

180

0.00%

ECS RS482-M (ATI Xpress 200 - RS482 + SB400) + GeForce 6600 GT  

178

-1.12%

ECS RS482-M (ATI Xpress 200 - RS482 + SB400) on-board

176

-2.27%

On SYSmark 2004 WinFast 6100K8MA-RS achieved a performance similar to the other motherboard with on-board video we tested, ECS RS482-M (Radeon Xpress 200 - RS482 + SB400), and on-board video didnít have any influence on the performance of the reviewed board.

A mainstream motherboard based on nForce 4 Ultra chipset (Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS) was 5% faster than the reviewed motherboard, achieving a good advantage at Office Productivity suite.

Of course this comparison isnít fair, but just for you to have an idea of the performance difference between an entry-level motherboard and a high-end one on SYSmark2004.

Processing Performance

Using the same methodology of the previous test, we measured processing performance using PCMark04 program. PCMark04 score is influenced by the vŪdeo card used. Thus the motherboard with the best on-board video will achieve the highest score on this program.

You can see the results below.

PCMark04 (Build 1.3.0)

Score

Difference

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS (GeForce 6100 + nForce 410) + GeForce 6600 GT

4568 

 +9.75%

Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS (nForce4 Ultra) + GeForce 6600 GT

4563

+9.63%

ECS RS482-M (ATI Xpress 200 - RS482 + SB400) + GeForce 6600 GT 

4511

+8.39%

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS (GeForce 6100 + nForce 410) on-board 

4162

 

ECS RS482-M (ATI Xpress 200 - RS482 + SB400) on-board

4109

-1.29%

With its on-board video enabled WinFast 6100K8MA-RS achieved a performance similar to the ECS motherboard using ATI Radeon Xpress 200 chipset.

When we installed a GeForce 6600 GT, the reviewed motherboard achieved a performance similar to Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS, which is a mainstream motherboard based on nForce 4 Ultra chipset.

3D Performance: 3DMark2001 SE

One of the best ways to measure the performance of a PC is through 3D games, since they usually pull the maximum power from the motherboard, memory, CPU, video card and hard disk drive. We chose five programs for measuring the 3D performance of the motherboard being reviewed: 3DMark2001 SE, 3DMark03, 3DMark05, Doom 3 and Quake III Arena.

We were very curious on how the integrated video from GeForce 6100 would perform. We decided to compare GeForce 6100 performance with the performance of other video cards we had available here in our lab: GeForce 6600 GT (128 MB, 128 bits from Leadtek), a GeForce 6200 (128 MB, 128-bit interface from Leadtek) and a GeForce 6200 TurboCache with 64 MB and 64-bit interface (from XFX).

Of course we compared the performance of GeForce 6100 with its main rival, Radeon Xpress 200 (RS482) from ATI. 

3DMark2001 SE measures 3D performance by making DirectX 8.1 simulations.

You can check the results of our benchmarking below. All the listed video cards were installed on WinFast WinFast 6100K8MA-RS from Foxconn. We also included the results for Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS, which is a mainstream motherboard based on nForce 4 Ultra chipset.

3DMark2001 SE (Build 3.3.0)

Score 

Difference

GeForce 6600 GT (128 MB, 128 bits)

18959 

+235.08%

Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS (nForce4 Ultra) + GeForce 6600 GT

18916 

+234.32%

GeForce 6200 (128 MB, 128 bits)

13274 

+134.61%

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS (GeForce 6100 + nForce 410) on-board

5658

 

ECS RS482-M (ATI Xpress 200 - RS482 + SB400) on-board

5633

-0.44%

GeForce 6200 TurboCache (64 MB, 64 bits)

5123 

-10.44%

As you can see, GeForce 6100 achieved a performance similar to its main competitor, Radeon Xpress 200 (RS482).

GeForce 6100 from WinFast 6100K8MA-RS was beaten by GeForce 6600 GT and GeForce 6200 but for our surprise it was 10.44% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache (64 MB, 64-bit) from XFX.

When we installed a GeForce 6600 GT WinFast 6100K8MA-RS achieved the same performance of Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS, which is, as we mentioned earlier, a mainstream motherboard based on nForce 4 Ultra chipset.

3D Performance: 3DMark03

We followed the same methodology described in the previous page, but now running 3Dmark03. Keep in mind that 3DMark03 simulates DirectX 9.0 games, which is fully supported by GeForce 6100 and by Radeon Xpress 200.

You can check the results of our benchmarking below. All the listed video cards were installed on WinFast WinFast 6100K8MA-RS from Foxconn.

3Dmark03 (Build 3.6.0) 

Score

Difference

GeForce 6600 GT (128 MB, 128 bits)

8405 

+495.25%

Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS (nForce4 Ultra) + GeForce 6600 GT

8387

+493.98%

GeForce 6200 (128 MB, 128 bits)

4080 

+188.95%

ECS RS482-M (ATI Xpress 200 - RS482 + SB400) on-board

1504 

+6.52%

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS (GeForce 6100 + nForce 410) on-board

1412 

 

GeForce 6200 TurboCache (64 MB, 64 bits) 

1189 

-18.76%

On this test on-board video from Radeon Xpress 200 (RS482) was 6.52% faster than the on-board video from the reviewed motherboard (GeForce 6100).

Geforce 6100 from WinFast 6100K8MA-RS was also beaten by GeForce 6600 GT and GeForce 6200 but, like what happened on the previous test, it was 18.76% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache (64 MB, 64-bit) from XFX.

When we installed a GeForce 6600 GT WinFast 6100K8MA-RS achieved the same performance of Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS, which is, as we mentioned earlier, a mainstream motherboard based on nForce 4 Ultra chipset.

3D Performance: 3DMark05

We again followed the same methodology described previously, but now running 3DMark05. This program measures 3D performance by simulating DirectX 9.0c games, i.e., using Shader 3.0. This programming model is used by the latest games and is supported by GeForce 6100 but not by Radeon Xpress 200 (RS482).

It isnít fair to use this program to evaluate 3D performance of motherboards with on-board video, as they achieve a very low score on this program. We ran it anyway, basically to see the performance WinFast 6100K8MA-RS achieved using a real video card installed.

You can check the results of our benchmarking below. All the listed video cards were installed on WinFast WinFast 6100K8MA-RS from Foxconn.

3Dmark05 (Build 1.2.0)

Score

Difference

Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS (nForce4 Ultra) + GeForce 6600 GT

3561

+412.37%

GeForce 6600 GT (128 MB, 128 bits)

3464

+398.42%

GeForce 6200 (128 MB, 128 bits)

1464

+110.65%

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS (GeForce 6100 + nForce 410) on-board

695

 

ECS RS482-M (ATI Xpress 200 - RS482 + SB400) on-board

692

-0.43%

GeForce 6200 TurboCache (64 MB, 64 bits)

262

-165.27%

As you can see, GeForce 6100 achieved a performance similar to its main competitor, Radeon Xpress 200 (RS482).

Geforce 6100 from WinFast 6100K8MA-RS was, as expected, beaten by GeForce 6600 GT and GeForce 6200 but, like what happened previously, it was 165.27% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache (64 MB, 64-bit) from XFX.

When we installed a GeForce 6600 GT WinFast 6100K8MA-RS achieved the same performance of Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS, which is, as we mentioned earlier, a mainstream motherboard based on nForce 4 Ultra chipset.

3D Performance: Doom 3

Doom 3 is one of the heaviest games available today. We run this game at 1024x768x32 resolution at high quality. We run demo1 four times and wrote the obtained number of frames per second. The first result we discarded at once, since it is far inferior than the other results. This happens because at the first time we run the demo the game must load all textures to video memory, fact that doesnít happen from the second time we run the demo on. From the three results left, we consider as our official result the middle result, i.e., we discard the highest and the lowest values. Curiously almost all times the values obtained at the second round on were the same.

A very important detail that we must mention is that Doom 3 has an internal FPS lock: it is only capable of generating 60 frames per second, even if your PC is able to produce more frames per second than that. This is done in order to make the game to have the same ďplayabilityĒ sensation independently from the video card installed on the PC. This lock, however, is disabled in the game benchmarking mode.

You can check the results of our benchmarking below. All the listed video cards were installed on WinFast WinFast 6100K8MA-RS from Foxconn.

Doom 3 Ė Demo 1

Score

Difference

Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS (nForce4 Ultra) + GeForce 6600 GT

84.5

+871.26%

GeForce 6600 GT (128 MB, 128 bits)

83.2

+856.32%

GeForce 6200 (128 MB, 128 bits)

39.9

+358.62%

GeForce 6200 TurboCache (64 MB, 64 bits)

18.3

+110.34%

ECS RS482-M (ATI Xpress 200 - RS482 + SB400) on-board

8.9

+2.30%

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS (GeForce 6100 + nForce 410) on-board

8.7

 

As you can see, GeForce 6100 achieved a performance similar to its main competitor, Radeon Xpress 200 (RS482).

Here GeForce 6100 achieved a performance lower than all add-on video cards included in our comparison.

When we installed a GeForce 6600 GT WinFast 6100K8MA-RS achieved the same performance of Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS, which is, as we mentioned earlier, a mainstream motherboard based on nForce 4 Ultra chipset.

3D Performance: Quake III

We used the demo four available on version 1.32 of Quake III to make our benchmarking with this game. We ran this demo three times at 1024x768x32 resolution and all image quality settings on their default conFiguretion and we picked the middle value for our comparisons, i.e., we discarded the highest and the lowest values.

You can check the results of our benchmarking below. All the listed video cards were installed on WinFast WinFast 6100K8MA-RS from Foxconn.

Quake III Ė demo four

Score

Difference

Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS (nForce4 Ultra) + GeForce 6600 GT  

331.8

+208.08%

GeForce 6600 GT (128 MB, 128 bits) 

316

+193.41%
GeForce 6200 (128 MB, 128 bits) 

271.1

+151.72%

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS (GeForce 6100 + nForce 410) on-board

107.7

 

ECS RS482-M (ATI Xpress 200 - RS482 + SB400) on-board

100

-7.70%

GeForce 6200 TurboCache (64 MB, 64 bits)

64.1

-68.02%

On this test on-board video from Radeon Xpress 200 (RS482) was 7.70% faster than the on-board video from the reviewed motherboard (GeForce 6100).

Geforce 6100 from WinFast 6100K8MA-RS was, as expected, beaten by GeForce 6600 GT and GeForce 6200 but, like what happened previously, it was 68.02% faster than GeForce 6200 TurboCache (64 MB, 64-bit) from XFX.

When we installed a GeForce 6600 GT, WinFast 6100K8MA-RS was 4.76% slower than Foxconn WinFast NF4UK8AA-8EKRS, which is, as we mentioned earlier, a mainstream motherboard based on nForce 4 Ultra chipset.

Overclocking

For our overclocking tests we used an Athlon 64 3500+ (2.2 GHz) with 512 KB L2 memory cache based on Venice core, which has a better overclocking capability than our Athlon 64 3800+ used on our benchmarking.

Amazingly enough, this motherboard provides a myriad of overclocking settings, which is definitely not a common feature to be found on entry-level motherboards.

WinFast 6100K8MA-RS (BIOS version: 54AW1P34, January 19th, 2006) overclocking options:

For beginners WinFast 6100K8MA-RS has everything to not let you down. Chipset voltage and PCI Express voltage adjustments were missing, but it is ask too much for a low cost motherboard with on-board video.


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Figure 6: Overclocking options on WinFast 6100K8MA-RS.


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Figure 7: Frequency adjustments are located on a separated menu.

It also has several memory timings adjustments, as you can see in Figure 8.


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Figure 8: Memory timings settings.

On Figures 9 and 10 you can check the overclocking we could achieve with this motherboard.


click to enlarge
Figure 9: HTT configured at 310 MHz, an excellent result.


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Figure 10: Our 2.2 GHz CPU running at 2,798 MHz (280 MHz x 10).


With WinFast 6100K8MA-RS we could put our CPU running stable at 2,798 MHz (280 MHz x 10), an increase of almost 30% on its internal clock rate, an outstanding result for an entry-level motherboard

To achieve this overclocking we had to change the HyperTransport bus multiplier to 3x, the memory voltage to 2.80 V, the CPU voltage to 1.5 V and keeping the memory clock always below 250 MHz.

We must say that apparently WinFast 6100K8MA-RS has some sort of lock that didnít allow us to configure HTT frequencies above 310 MHz. Any value above that was ignored.

Conclusions

Who has the best on-board video, NVIDIA or ATI? ATI was better on 3DMark03 and NVIDIA on Doom 3. On the other tests they were tied. We can say they are technically tied. NVidia has a GeForce 6100 running at a higher clock rate, called GeForce 6150, which should achieve a higher performance than standard GeForce 6100 and Radeon Xpress 200. However, this isnít important, as both achieved a lousy 3D performance and you canít run modern games on them.

Comparing the other technical specs, the simplest version of NVIDIA 400 series south bridge (nForce 410) is far better than ATIís counterpart, as it has SATA-300 with NCQ support.

A very interesting thing happened during our tests. When we installed GeForce 6200 TurboCache 64 MB 64-bit on WinFast 6100K8MA-RS, it achieved a lousy performance, thing that didnít happen when we installed the same video card on our ECS motherboard based on ATIís chipset.

It seems that there is an incompatibility between GeForce 6200 TurboCache and GeForce 6100, so pay attention to not use this motherboard together with a TurboCache video card, as you will lower your system 3D performance.

WinFast 6100K8MA-RS surprised us. It presented a great performance for its category and an excellent overclocking capability, plus it is the cheapest socket 939 motherboards around. And you can also install a real video card on it in the future.

It is great if you are assembling a cheap Athlon 64 system based on socket 939 Ė especially now that socket 939 is being phased out.

If you are looking for a socket 939 motherboard with on-board video, Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS is an excellent pick.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Foxconn-WinFast-6100K8MA-RS-Motherboard-Review/357


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