Intel's 865/875 Superior Performance Song Remains the Same

PCChips TidalWave T12

BIOS Version : ?

PCChips belongs to Elitegroup and mainly focuses on low-cost motherboards. Based on the 865PE, the TidalWave provides an average amount of features and passable manufacturing quality.

You can’t expect to have four-phase voltage regulators (as the board is a mid-class model), but there is a sound system, a Gigabit LAN controller, two Serial ATA ports and four usable USB ports.

With automatic memory recognition in the BIOS, the test memory posted CL2.5-3-2-6 - as a great many of the competitors did too. The only one, which can be manually adjusted, however, is the CAS latency, which in our case basically did the trick. As a consequence, however the memory was then run at CL2.5-4-4-8 - not acceptable for us ; as a result, we were forced to make do with CL2.5.

Delivered with the package was a somewhat confusing note, which said that the CMOS reset jumper had been replugged to go easy on the batteries and must be plugged into the output port. Unfortunately, Pin 1 on the CMOS reset block is not instantly recognizable, with the result that practically every user first resets the jumper. Consequently, of course, the board doesn’t start ; the jumper issue can only be clarified by first taking a look at the manual. But, for the novice, that means removing the board and taking it back to the dealer.

The accessories included still remain within expectations for a low-cost board, because in addition to rounded flat ribbon cables (ATA/100 and floppy) there’s an SATA cable complete with power adapter. As a bonus there is a similar package to the one with a ECS board : WinRIP, WinDVD, WinDVD Creator, PC Cillin 2002, plus Acrobat Reader. Meanwhile, the manual is short but complete.

Finally, the board’s memory support proved that it’s a low-cost model after all : two of the 13 storage modules could not be made to run at all.

The ATX back panel indicates that this board must come with a 865G chipset, too : The 15-pin D-Sub jack for the monitor is missing on the T12.