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

Tyan S5101 Trinity I875P

BIOS Version : 1.10c

With a board from Supermicro in our group review, we were keen to include one from Tyan, too. Both of these manufacturers specialize in making products for professional applications. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the S5101 meets the requirements of the workstation user.

Tyan includes an AGP slot and a total of six PCI slots. The number of other components on the board is no less remarkable. As well as a Gigabit network controller from Intel (linked via CSA), there is a second on-board chip, the Realtek RTL8100C, which supports up to 100 megabits/s, although this should be enough for most practical purposes.

Tyan has decided to reduce the feature count in other areas, and thus the RAID-capable ICH5 Southbridge is not used. In its place is the Promise PDC20378, which allows any configuration of two SATA ports and an UltraATA/133 port. The FireWire chip from VIA (VT6307) provides one internal and two external 1394a ports. The good news is that Tyan has remembered to include all the adapters you will need - even one to enable USB ports 5 and 6.

Not all expansion cards will fit in the third PCI slot, as there are jumpers at the rear of the slot that make it very awkward to fit large or bulky cards. Memory support is another area with a minor flaw : our Corsair low latency module was recognized as CL 2.5-3-2-6. Because CL 2.0 is programmed in the module’s EPROM, we were able to do a manual fix and use it without any problem.

Updating the BIOS is very easy with this board. A batch file is included in the download package, which flashes the BIOS automatically when you run it.

Compared with the Supermicro board, the user loses some advanced features (PCI-X), but gets a high quality sound system, more USB ports, and a much lower price.