Review of Socket 8 Motherboards

The Boards

Quite important is absolute stability and I'm happy to say that there were no difficulties during the tests except three boards always timing out while performing the Highend Winstone; but I don't want to accuse the boards, since I did not find any high end application which would run with errors or anyhow unstable on these candidates. I think this cosmetic bug is caused by some item of the Winstone sequence or by some aspect of my configuration that either Winstone or the motherboard does not tolerate. I gave up thinking about it after I tried large parts of Microsoft's product family and SDKs as well as 3D Studio Max, Lightwave 3D, Borland C++ and Delphi.

All boards are based on Intel's 'Natoma' 82440FX PCI chipset and PIIX3 supporting FPM or EDO DRAM, parity or ECC check and other known goodies: Dual PIO Mode 4 EIDE controllers, floppy controller, 2 serial ports (with 16550), 1 parallel port (ECP/EPP) and as a matter of principle an USB port as well.


As almost all Intel CPUs, the Pentium Pro is pretty easy to overclock. I have not heard of any multiplier restrictions so far, so you may still be lucky running 150 MHz models at 166 or even 180 MHz, 166 MHz at up to 200 MHz and 200 MHz versions at 233 MHz. If you should use some power cooling as offered by Kryotech, you may well be able to go up to 300 MHz. Higher bus clocks are hardly worth the try, because the Pentium Pro's performance is mainly determined by the L2 cache speed. This speed is not changed when switching to a different bus clock.

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