12 Socket 370 Motherboards using VIA's Apollo Pro 133A

Biostar M6VCG

Board Revision: 1.1

BIOS Version: 0314B (April 24, 2000)

I'm sorry to say, but the Biostar board was the slowest candidate in this motherboard round up. Even though it comes with the VIA 694X chipset, the benchmark results can hardly exceed the level of 693A motherboards.

The board looks promising, as it comes with five PCI amd one ISA slot, AMR, three DIMMs, AC97 sound, UltraDMA/66 and AGP 4x. I think we got the basic motherboard, as there's some space left for a better featured sound chip as well as two audio headers. Other versions may also be equipped with the connector for two more USB ports.

All CPU settings have to be done via two jumper blocks. In the BIOS, you may raise or lower the SDRAM speed by 33 MHz, and you can also use ECC memory. The board supports 256 MByte modules max., so the total amount of memory can be 768 MBytes.

All hard- and software issues are explained in detail, e.g. the FSB speed selection. You may chose between 66, 100, 103, 112, 124, 133, 140 and 150 MHz. As a matter of fact, this board does not support 75 or 83 MHz FSB, so overclocking a Celeron processor can only be done by selecting 100 MHz at least. That will prove to be too much in most cases.

After all this board left quite mixed impressions. Basically it's not bad, as it offers all standard features and was rock stable. But I am missing real innovations, which could make us forget that this board is no good performer at this point.