The Foxconn WinFast 6100K8MA-RS is a µATX form factor PCI Express motherboard.
- PCIe x16
- PCI (three)
There are 4 memory slots supporting 4GB of DDR-400 memory. The motherboard uses the NVIDIA 410 chipset and features the integrated NVIDIA 6100 graphics.
- USB2 (4 ports, 4 mid-board)
- Ethernet 100BASE-TX
- PS/2 (keyboard and mouse)
- Audio (6 channel, S/PDIF)
For the AMD platform Foxconn is using WinFast brand, which they licensed from Leadtek. WinFast 6100K8MA-RS is a socket 939 motherboard with embedded graphics, supporting Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 X2 and Opteron CPUs. Depending on the model, better audio, faster networking and IEE1394 are available.
We bought this $55 version board in September of 2006 as part of a hardware refresh. AMD is widely favored as motherboards and processors are affordable. This board leveraged the integrated graphics with Windows XP to reduce power consumption. Socket 939 is being phased out however this board is targeted at the upgrade market. AMD announced AM2 a few months earlier, but that would have added to the cost requiring new DDR2 instead of using the existing DDR RAM.
While this board is the smaller µATX form factor, we installed the 6100K8MA-RS in a standard ATX chassis. The board is 9.6″ square. The smaller µATX chassis lack the capability to install more fans which can lead to excess heat and component failure.
We use an AMD Athon64 X2 3800 processor with the board which provided a good platform for 64-bit Windows. This board is Socket 939 which supports the new 64-bit processors from AMD. This board runs warm so its not a bad idea to use an aftermarket CPU cooler in addition to chassis fans.
We installed 2 DDR-400 sticks in dual channel mode and this board runs Windows XP very well. When we upgraded this board to 4GB we found the 64-bit version of Windows XP ran even better. DDR-400 has enough bandwidth that Windows XP does not lag at all.
There are 4 USB 2.0 ports are the rear along with the obsolete serial and parallel ports. The audio is the typical AC97 and its fine for 99% of users. There are midboard headers for front panel USB.
The SATA ports are placed far enough away to be clear of the PCI Express slot. The dual EIDE headers are typical for motherboards this year as many are sold for upgrades. Hard disks have grown in capacity which leverages the SATA ports. Over time the number of SATA ports increased and EIDE ports decreased. Comparing the other technical specs, the simplest version of NVIDIA 400 series south bridge (nForce 410) is far better than ATI’s counterpart with its SATA-300 featuring NCQ support.
The integrated 6100 graphics are obsolete. The PCI Express slot however does afford the choice of using a discrete card. The Asus EAH5450 512MB is a low cost card that makes Windows 7 run well with its HDMI capability and a 1920×1080 screen. Most users ended up using the integrated graphics.
This board can make do with a Pentium IV ATX PSU with 350W of power. Ideally it should have at least 20A of 12V to support the CPU. Additional 12V current will be needed for the video card if it uses PCI Express cables. It was not for many years before energy efficient power supplies became more widely available. About 2010 we started to notice new 80 PLUS power supplies which would do wonders for the 6100K8MA-RS power consumption.
The ATX12V is placed mid-board which which means cable management is needed so that the CPU cooler is not fouled. Fan headers did not emerge for a few more years. Overall the placement of headers has evolved as manufacturers read reviews and work towards fixing issues. Chassis cables are also notoriously short, which sometimes made it impossible to connect front panel audio. For that reason USB headsets are now widely available for gaming.
The 6100K8MA-RS has a header for S/PDIF for video cards like the GTX 260 which do not yet have integrated audio. More recent cards started using integrated audio to simplify installation.
Overall this smaller form factor motherboard is fine for many users. The PCI Express slot provides the opportunity to use a display adapter and use it for games. Equipped with a full set of connectors makes this board suitable for most upgrade and repair scenarios.
Likely the ATX chassis with the front and rear fans was able to keep this board cool enough for it to last longer. This board does put out a bit of heat, especially when the PCI Express slot is used. The dual front and rear fan design seems to be a successful approach to removing excess heat. We strongly recommend using a chassis with 120mm fans front and back.
Eventually we installed a PCI Wi-Fi card which is faster than the Realtek RTL 8201BL 100BASE-TX seen in older machines. Moving to Wi-Fi takes advantage of the growing popularity of the Linksys WRT54G network boxes which have flooded the market. Ethernet cables are expensive and can be hard to install. Over time the old 802.11g card was replaced with a faster 802.11n card. USB Wi-Fi work best with the access point nearby.
Corsair AX1500i 1500 Watts ATX 12V/EPS 12V Power Supply with Titanium Efficiency CP-9020057-NA
We ran across a lot of posts over this board and many others with bad caps. We have not had issues however here is a list of OEM capacitors needed for repair:
- 5x 3300uF 6.3v OST RLX
- 4x 1500uF 16v UCC KZG
- 2x 1000uF 10v Teapo SEK
- 8x 1000uF 6.3v Teapo SEK
- 9x 1000uF 6.3v OST RLX
- 1x 470uF 16v Teapo SEK
- 4x 100uF 16v Teapo SEK
Cheap Chinese capacitors are prone to failure which is why we strongly advocate using 120mm front and rear fans to prevent heat from building up. Nichicon makes better capacitors but a better chassis is easier to setup.
The WinFast 6100K8MA-RS still works after over 8 years of service. The low cost Foxconn board has delivered a decade of service. With 4GB of memory installed even Windows 10 runs on this board fine thanks to the performance of the dual core CPU.