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21 Slot-1 Motherboards using VIA Chipsets


Board Revision: 4

BIOS Version: ?

Here we have the second hybrid motherboard, featuring both Slot-1 and Socket 370. You have to choose the right one by setting a jumper. With regard to this feature, the DFI board is a real flexibility winner, since it is one of only two boards (Tyan), which can host a Slot-1 Pentium III as well as the FCPGA versions. An Aureal sound chip is on board as well as five PCI and one ISA slot. DFI doesn't seem to be a supporter of AMR, which currently is no disadvantage at all. Besides the usual features (I/O, monitoring, UltraDMA/66, IR, Wake On LAN/Ring), it offers a connector for two additional USB ports, Wake on RTC capability and both PCI and DIMM power LEDs. Luckily, the USB connector pins are listed in the manual. This could in fact be helpful when trying to get a riser cable. Thanks to the 694X chipset, it supports AGP 4x as well.

The memory clock can be reduced by 33 MHz in order to use PC100 SDRAM with a CPU running at 133 MHz FSB. The TA64 also supports ECC and up to 768 MByte. Reading the manual you will be recommended to use identical SDRAM modules (in case you're using more than one). Mixing two different DIMMs did work properly, but DFI may have reasons to recommend this.

CPU configuration requires you to set two jumpers (FSB) and four DIPswitches (multiplier). In addition you may alter the adjusted FSB in the BIOS. AGP Fast Writes can also be disabled in the BIOS setup. Four audio line-ins are available for the sound system.

DFI is prepared for the upcoming Cyrix III CPU as well: JP18 has to be changed in order to use it. Besides the normal CPU and chassis fan headers, this board comes with a third one specifically for cooling the graphics card. What I really like is the exemplary descriptions for the panel LED and switch connectors. Since the board is quite wide, there's nothing negative about the design. All expansion slots can be equipped with full size cards and no cables will cross other components.

After a look at the performance numbers I'll come to the end of my evaluation: The board works quite fast, offers the best CPU flexibility and decent features including a great manual. More importantly, it did not cause the slightest trouble - which is something that I appreciate more than just high benchmark scores.