Socket 7 Board Review July 1998

IWill XA-100

ATX motherboard, ALi Aladdin V chipset, 512 kB L2 cache, 3x ISA, 4x PCI, AGP slot, 3x DIMM. Voltages: 3.5, 3.2, 2.9, 2.8, 2.7, 2.2, 1.8V.

As the motherboard package says, the CPU settings can be done easily by well-described jumpers. The K6 ran fine at its nominal bus speed of 100 MHz; strangely the MII did not run correctly. It produced wrong colors already in the BIOS screen. And another strange thing happened: Our noname standard 64 MB DIMM with 32 chips ran fine even at 100 MHz, the other 10 ns types didn't bear more than 83 MHz. I'm impressed!

The new revision I got now is definitely better than the first one, even the package has changed... If you're considering to take the IWill board, be sure to get rev. 1.2. The problems I had with the earlier revision 1.1 were mainly provoked by the DirectX6 beta, but even with DirectX5 I had two crashes during Business Winstone 98, which only happened with the Diamond Fire card. Both the Asus and the ATI card ran fine, thus I don't want to blame the board more than necessary. Only one fact should count for you now: The actual revision runs fast and reliable now.

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