BCM QS750 Athlon Motherboard Review


Although the BCM board doesn't provide any fancy or innovated features, there is definitely a place for it. As far as performance goes, QS750 is among the best under Windows 98. Although the board isn't the worst performing board under NT it, like most of the others it could use some more BIOS tweaking. The one unique feature this board offers is its 3 ISA slots. In the batch of boards tested so far in our lab this one is the only product to have more than two ISA slots. The only issue with the BCM QS750 right now is it's current BIOS. Currently the BCM board doesn't function with AMD's 700 or 750 MHz product. I feel that BCM should at least mention this major issue on their web page. At minimum a statement saying they have resolved the issue and a new BIOS should be put online soon.

If they are going to claim 500-750 MHz support than I believe the board should actually do it. I am really not fond of manufacturers claiming support for something that they haven't fully tested! BCM does assure me that they will soon release a new BIOS that corrects this problem. I'd also like to repeat that if you are interested in an overclockable solution, you have to steer clear from the BCM QS750.

It is nice to see the growing acceptance of AMD's Athlon. However, I hope that future boards will be designed with a little more creativity. Most of the boards we've tested in our lab look more like an AMD reference design. How about some over-clocking support (preferably in the BIOS), an ARM slot, onboard audio, or integrated SCSI?

If I were to pick a motherboard out of all the Athlon platforms we tested so far, it would still be the ASUS K7M. It is the only board that I've seen that offers descent overclockability (I'm always fond of more speed :). However I REALLY HATE the fact that ASUS plays possum by not promoting or even admitting that they even offer an Athlon platform. If you are not in to overclocking, any of these boards could fit the bill.

It does put a smile on my face to see BCM join BIOSTAR and FIC in their bold Athlon support. I'm starting to wonder if the time will ever come when the rest of the motherboard manufacturers will also pound their chests and demonstrate their Athlon support as well.