Review of Socket 7 PCI Motherboards


Mercury W586 VXL

The only Triton VX chipset board is Mercury's W586 VXL. It's equipped with 512 kB L2 Cache, but strangely has no DIMM sockets. Nevertheless, performance is not too bad (taking into account that we are dealing with a 430VX board). I would really like to get some board with a faster chipset from Mercury, because the package even includes a PS/2 mouse connector, and this is not very common for less known manufacturers. Who knows what surprise the better boards do offer... I don't know the price for this board, but equipped with the VX chipset it should be very cheap. Here we seem to have a company which successfully tries to compete with other manufacturers by selling a product based on low-end components and achieving niet performance. One reason is the prosper support of 75 MHz bus speed. Not enough: jumper settings for 83 MHz are JP1, JP2, JP3 to 2-3, 2-3, 2-3. For many readers of this homepage this kind of motherboard is certainly unsuited for their computer at home, but if I had to assemble cheap Windows workstations, this board could become a candidate. The lacks: No ECC support, no SDRAM support, no Ultra DMA, max. 64 MB cacheable area.

Mercury W586 VXL, Rev. 4.1

AT format; AT power supply; Intel 430VX; 3x ISA, 4x PCI; 4x SIMM; Award flash BIOS; 512 kB PB-Cache (6 ns); external frequencies: 50, 55, 60, 66, 75, 83 MHz (83 MHz settings as shown above, be prepared for instabilities); BF2 jumper missing, I/O chip: ITE; busmaster DMA 2 or PIO 4 onboard; FDC onboard; 2x serial 16550; 1x EPP/ECP parallel; 1x PS/2 mouse (with connector); 1x USB; IrDA support; core voltages: 3.2V, 2.9V, 2.8V, 2.7V, 2.5V.