Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS Motherboard Review
By Gabriel Torres on February 7, 2006


Introduction

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Foxconn, a traditional OEM manufacturer, is now in the retail market with its own motherboard line, using its own brand. For AMD platform, it is using WinFast brand, which was licensed from Leadtek. Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS is a socket 754 motherboard based on the latest NVIDIA chipset with integrated graphics (a.k.a. on-board video): GeForce 6100. We were very curious to measure GeForce 6100 performance and compare it to commercial entry-level video cards, like GeForce 6200. That’s what we’ve done in this review, and also compared its performance to other chipsets with on-board graphics: VIA K8M800 and SiS 760 GX.

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS Motherboard
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Figure 1: Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS.

Besides being a very simple motherboard targeted to socket 754 CPUs (socket 754 version of Athlon 64 and Sempron processors), as you can see in Figure 1, it has one 16x PCI Express slot, allowing you to disable its on-board video and install a real video card later, if you want.

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS Motherboard
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Figure 2: This motherboard carries a 16x PCI Express slot.

This motherboard uses nForce 410 south bridge, having on-board video, audio and LAN, bringing also two Serial ATA ports supporting the new 300 MB/s speed (SATA-300). It has two DDR-DIMM sockets, accepting up to 2 GB of up to DDR400/PC3200 memory; its on-board audio is controlled by the nForce 410 south bridge using the Realtek ALC653 codec, providing 6 channels; its LAN is also controlled by its south bridge, using Realtek RTL8201BL chip to make the interface with the physical layer; eight USB 2.0 ports, four soldered directly to the motherboard and four available through an I/O bracket, but the board doesn’t come with any bracket.

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS Motherboard
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Figure 3: Two serial ATA ports and nForce 410 south bridge (under the passive heatsink).

You can read more about the GeForce 6100 chipset family in our article NVIDIA GeForce 6100 and nForce 400 Chipset Family.

Theoretically this motherboard requires a 24-pin power supply (ATX12V v2.x standard, used on almost all motherboards based on PCI Express) but you can install a 20-pin power supply on it without any problem. You need to take a look at page 13 of its manual to see a picture of the correct installation of the 20-pin power supply on the 24-pin motherboard plug.

Besides the motherboard drivers and utilities, in the CD-ROM that comes with this motherboard you will also find Norton Internet Security 2005 software for free.

Before going to our benchmarking, let’s recap the main features of this motherboard.

Main Specifications

The main specifications for Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS are:

How We Tested

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the motherboard being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

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 SYSmark2002, 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: Internet Content Creation and Office Productivity. The programs used on Internet Content Creation batch are the following: Dreamweaver 4.0, Photoshop 6.0.1, Premiere 6.0, Flash 5 and Windows Media Encoder. The programs used on Office Productivity batch are the following: Word 2002, Excel 2002, PowerPoint 2002, Outlook 2002, Access 2002, Netscape Communicator 6, NaturallySpeaking 5, VirusScan 5.13 and WinZip 8.0.

The software delivers specific results for each batch and also an overall performance result, all in a specific SYSmark202 unit. The results you see on the graph below.

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS Motherboard

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS achieved an overall performance similar to other socket 754 motherboards with on-board video that we’ve tested (PCChips M861G v1.6a, which is based on VIA K8M800, and Foxconn WinFast 760GXK8MB, which is based on SiS 760 GX).

A high-end motherboard based on nForce 3-250 Gb (MSI K8N Neo Platinum) and with a Radeon 9800 Pro installed was 5.19% faster on SYSmark2002 than Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS. Of course this comparison isn’t fair, but just for you to have an idea of the performance difference between an entry-level motherboard and a high-end one on SYSmark2002.

Processing Performance

We measured the motherboard processing performance through PCMark04 software. We included a high-end motherboard (MSI K8N Neo Platinum) with a Radeon 9800 Pro installed in the comparison, to check the performance of the Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS compared to a high-end motherboard. Of course this comparison isn’t fair, but just for you to have an idea of the performance difference between an entry-level motherboard and a high-end one on PCMark04.

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS Motherboard

The results were really good to Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS, as it was 9.76% faster than PCChips M861G v1.6a (VIA K8M800) and 10.20% faster than Foxconn WinFast 760GXK8MB (SiS 760 GX). MSI K8N Neo Platinum (nForce 3-250 Gb) with Radeon 9800 Pro was 20.05% faster. Keep in mind that PCMark04 score reflects video performance, so the motherboard with the best video card will achieve the best performance.

3D Performance: 3DMark2001 SE

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 entry-level video cards we had available here in our lab: a GeForce 6200 with 128 MB and 128-bit interface (from Leadtek) and a GeForce 6200 TurboCache with 64 MB and 64-bit interface (from XFX).

Of course we also compared it to the performance provided by the other motherboards with on-board video, Foxconn WinFast 760GXK8MB (SiS 760 GX, based on Mirage 2 engine, which is a DirectX 8.1 part) and PCChips M861G v1.6a (VIA K8M800, based on S3 UniChrome Pro IGP engine, which is a DirectX 7 part).

Just to remember, GeForce 6100 is based on GeForce 6 engine, which is a DirectX 9.0c part, so these three chipsets use graphics engines from three different generations.

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 6100K8MB-RS from Foxconn.

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS Motherboard

As you can see, the integrated graphics of GeForce 6100 performed far better than SiS 760 GX and VIA K8M800: Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS was 99.31% faster than Foxconn WinFast 760GXK8MB (SiS 760 GX) and 106.43% faster than PCChips M861G v1.6a (VIA K8M800).

But don’t expect on-board video to have the same performance of an add-on card. As you can see on the chart, a GeForce 6200 TurboCache with 64 MB and 64-bit interface, which is an entry-level video card, was 121.90% faster than GeForce 6100, and a “true” GeForce 6200 with 128 MB and 128-bit interface was 212.80% faster than GeForce 6100.

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 are fully supported by GeForce 6100 but not by SiS 760GX (which is DirectX 8.1) and VIA K8M800 (which is DirectX 7).

You can check the results of our benchmarking below. All the listed video cards were installed on WinFast 6100K8MB-RS from Foxconn.

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS Motherboard

As you can see the integrated graphics of GeForce 6100 performed far better than SiS 760 GX and VIA K8M800: Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS was 706.02% faster than Foxconn WinFast 760GXK8MB (SiS 760 GX) and 865.77% faster than PCChips M861G v1.6a (VIA K8M800). Ouch.

As we’ve stated before, don’t expect on-board video to have the same performance of an add-on card. As you can see on the chart, a GeForce 6200 TurboCache with 64 MB and 64-bit interface, which is an entry-level video card, was 133.49% faster than GeForce 6100, and a “true” GeForce 6200 with 128 MB and 128-bit interface was 274.81% faster than GeForce 6100.

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 the game’s default configuration 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 6100K8MB-RS from Foxconn.

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS Motherboard

Under Quaker III we’ve seen the same scenario as before: the integrated graphics of GeForce 6100 performed far better than SiS 760 GX and VIA K8M800. Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS was 198.55% faster than Foxconn WinFast 760GXK8MB (SiS 760 GX) and 141.64% faster than PCChips M861G v1.6a (VIA K8M800).

As we’ve stated before, don’t expect on-board video to have the same performance of an add-on card. As you can see on the chart, a GeForce 6200 TurboCache with 64 MB and 64-bit interface, which is an entry-level video card, was 108.50% faster than GeForce 6100, and a “true” GeForce 6200 with 128 MB and 128-bit interface was 133.95% faster than GeForce 6100.

Overclocking

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

On this motherboard you can configure its base clock (HTT clock) from 200 MHz to 300 MHz on 1 MHz steps, and from 200 MHz to 210 MHz you can increase the clock on 0.5 MHz steps. This was the first time we’ve seen such configuration.

As for the voltages, this motherboard allows you to change the CPU voltage from 1.300 V to 1.550 V using 0.025 V steps; the memory voltage can be configured as default, 2.65 V, 2.70 V and 2.75 V; and the chipset voltage can be configured as default, 1.25 V, 1.30 V and 1.35 V.

You can also change the PCI Express clock from 100 MHz to 145 MHz in 1 MHz increments.

And this motherboard also provides several memory-related configurations, from clock to timing. In Figure 4 we show the available memory timings configuration.

Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS Motherboard
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Figure 4: Memory timings configuration.

We were able to put our Athlon 64 3200+ (2 GHz) running externally at 221 MHz (2.21 MHz internally), a 10.5% increase over the standard clock. We could configure over this value but the system hanged while running Quake III, so you may be able to get better results, since we didn’t play with other settings besides the main clock configuration, such as voltages.

Conclusions

The truth is: GeForce 6100 chipset provides a far better 3D performance than SiS 760GX and VIA K8M800.

WinFast 6100K8MB-RS from Foxconn provides one PCI Express x16 slot, so in the future you will be able to disable its on-board video and install a better video card on it. Other motherboards with on-board video we’ve reviewed are still using AGP slots, which will be phased out pretty soon. So with WinFast 6100K8MB-RS you won’t face the risk of not finding a compatible video card for it during the next years.

We must also mention the outstanding overclocking support of the reviewed motherboard, which is rare to find on an entry-level motherboard.

So, if you are looking for a socket 754 with on-board video, GeForce 6100 is our choice and Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MB-RS is a great buy. Because of that we are giving it our "Golden Award" seal for the socket 754 motherboard with on-board video category.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Foxconn-WinFast-6100K8MB-RS-Motherboard-Review/280


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