Page 1:Round Up: 18 Boards With The 815 Chipset
Page 2:The 815 Chipset
Page 3:Memory Matters, Continued
Page 4:Keep Cool(er)
Page 5:The Boards
Page 6:AOpen AX3S Pro
Page 7:AOpen AX3S Pro, Continued
Page 8:Asus CUSL2
Page 9:Azza 815TX
Page 10:Azza 815TX, Continued
Page 11:Chaintech CT-6OJV
Page 12:DFI CS35-EC
Page 13:Elitegroup P6ISM
Page 14:Epox EP-3S1A
Page 15:Gigabyte GA-6OXM7E
Page 16:IWill WO2-R
Page 17:Jetway 616AF
Page 18:MSI 815E Pro / MS-6337 Pro
Page 19:MSI 815E Pro / MS-6337 Pro, Continued
Page 20:Procomp BIS2M
Page 21:QDI SynactiX 2E
Page 22:Shuttle ME21
Page 23:Siemens 1184
Page 24:Tekram S3815-ANE
Page 25:Transcend TS-ASL3
Page 26:Test Setup
Page 27:SYSmark 2000 - Windows 98 SE
Page 28:SPECviewperf 6.1.2 - Data Explorer
Page 29:SPECviewperf 6.1.2 - MedMCAD
Page 30:Direct 3D Benchmark: Expendable Timedemo
Page 32:Feature Comparison
Page 33:Feature Comparison, Continued
Page 34:Feature Comparison, Continued
Most candidates offer alternative system speeds. 150 MHz were tolerated by each motherboard in this review. Some even offer 166 MHz or more (AOpen, Asus, DFI, IWill, Jetway, MSI, QDI). Only ABit, AOpen, Asus, MSI and Epox include the option to raise the CPU voltage. According to our experience it's often necessary to increase the processor voltage in order to get a stable system. For example if you run a Pentium III 733 at 160 MHz system speed, the CPU will have to cope with 880 MHz. Most of today's Pentium III CPUs will likely fail at the default voltage of 1.65 V, but will work stable as soon as they get 1.7 or 1.75 V.
Asus has far the best overclocking motherboard right now, as I could get the board running even at 185 MHz FSB! Please note that the memory will only run at 3/4 of the system speed if you exceed 166 MHz. The BIOS setup menu makes it very easy to select system and memory speed as well as the core voltage.
ABit offers similar features, but the clock generator seems to be limited to 153 MHz. I've no other obvious explanation for this.
Compared to the VIA motherboard reviews I've done some months ago, this one was almost a pleasure. It took me far more time than I expected, but all motherboards within the test bed ran absolutely stable.
The biggest source for problems seems to be the main memory. Most PC133 memory modules are only specified for CAS Latency 3, reducing the overall performance by approx. 3%. CAS 2 memory is more expensive and more difficult to obtain. Running CAS 3 memory at CAS 2 does sometimes work, but usually you will only experience hang-ups or crashes. One common symptom we see is a SYSmark run that stops.
All candidates left quite a good impression. Two years ago, I did a comprehensive BX motherboard review. I underlined the fact that the performance differences between the motherboards are too little to base a buying decision on them. The same is valid now as well. Most motherboards perform pretty even. Check out the features you really want. Solano boards belong to the most expensive types available right now. I would only spend the higher price for an Asus or Gigabyte motherboard if there is a feature that I really want.
The best overall motherboards are the AOpen AX3S Pro, Transcend TS-ASL3, QDI SynactiX 2E and Tekram S3815-ANE. AOpen comes with excellent features and makes the best impression: Excellent package, great manual and a USB cable to use the ports 3 and 4.
Transcend also has a solid motherboard with good memory compatibility and nice features. QDI and Tekram left the best impression to me for users who are not sure what they really need. The Tekram motherboard also comes with integrated LAN.
Two boards are suited just perfect: ABit, AOpen and Asus. All three allow the user to set all CPU parameters in the BIOS and leave a lot of margin to play around.
ABit stops at 153 MHz, AOpen at 166 and Asus can be operated even at >180 MHz.
The CUSL2 definitely has the best recovery system, as it enters the BIOS automatically if the system is not working. Just restart pushing the reset button. AOpen is the only one of those three which comes with two BIOSes.
- Round Up: 18 Boards With The 815 Chipset
- The 815 Chipset
- Memory Matters, Continued
- Keep Cool(er)
- The Boards
- AOpen AX3S Pro
- AOpen AX3S Pro, Continued
- Asus CUSL2
- Azza 815TX
- Azza 815TX, Continued
- Chaintech CT-6OJV
- DFI CS35-EC
- Elitegroup P6ISM
- Epox EP-3S1A
- Gigabyte GA-6OXM7E
- IWill WO2-R
- Jetway 616AF
- MSI 815E Pro / MS-6337 Pro
- MSI 815E Pro / MS-6337 Pro, Continued
- Procomp BIS2M
- QDI SynactiX 2E
- Shuttle ME21
- Siemens 1184
- Tekram S3815-ANE
- Transcend TS-ASL3
- Test Setup
- SYSmark 2000 - Windows 98 SE
- SPECviewperf 6.1.2 - Data Explorer
- SPECviewperf 6.1.2 - MedMCAD
- Direct 3D Benchmark: Expendable Timedemo
- Feature Comparison
- Feature Comparison, Continued
- Feature Comparison, Continued