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Supermicro 4SCT+II

Intel's 865/875 Superior Performance Song Remains the Same
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BIOS Version: 1.0C

We were very impressed with the Supermicro when it arrived. Of course, this board uses the Intel 875P chipset, and the manufacturer has produced an uncluttered layout. Particularly neat is the horizontal arrangement of the memory slots, which are ideally positioned for cooling by a case fan.

This motherboard is fitted with PCI-X slots, two Gigabit network ports, integrated graphics - all the hallmarks of a server board, in fact. The P4SCT+II is not a server board, of course, since an AGP Pro slot and two standard PCI slots are present, plus a total of six SATA ports, two of which are provided by the 6300ESB, which also supports the three PCI-X slots. The other four are provided by the Marvell 88SX5040, which - believe it or not - supports Command Queuing (up to 32 commands).

The built-in graphics consist of a venerable ATI RageXL chip with 8 MB SDRAM, which is still regarded as a standard component in the world of servers. Supermicro has not cut corners on network connectivity and has fitted two Intel chips: a 82547GI for CSA and the 82541GI for PCI.

In addition, high quality, four-phase voltage regulators are fitted, and a total of five fan headers provide ample cooling options. The lack of USB ports is disappointing, however, with only two USB 2.0 ports present. A further two may be enabled but, in contrast to its generosity in other areas, Supermicro does not supply the necessary adapter.

The BIOS is supplied as a self-extracting, self-installing program. You simply copy a floppy disk containing FreeDOS, and the update is carried out automatically.

There is another feature well worth mentioning - the Supermicro supports overclocking. You can change the multiplier (even though such CPUs are rare) and clock the FSB up to 233 MHz.

The box is rather slim - a bit like a pizza box.
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