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21 Slot-1 Motherboards using VIA Chipsets

Tekram P6PRO-AU

Board Revision: 1.0

BIOS Version: 1.01 (December 27, 1999)

Here we have another board which makes use of VIA's top model, the VT82C694X or Apollo Pro 133A. Tekram also uses the better-equipped South Bridge (VT82C686A), resulting in two additional USB ports (total of four) and AC97 sound using an Advance Logic sound chip. Moreover, you don't need an I/O chip when using the 686A South Bridge.

The P6PRO-AU comes with one ISA slot, five PCI slots, the AMR slot and AGP 4x. 768 MByte SDRAM can be installed by plugging in three modules with 256 MByte each, ECC is also supported. As Tekram also provides SCSI adapter cards, their P6PRO-AU comes with an integrated Symbios SCSI BIOS.

Of course Wake on LAN and on Modem are on the features list as well as the basic system components like UltraDMA/66, both serial and one parallel port, IR header and the sound system's audio jackets. Our test sample did not include a manual, so I have to leave this topic unanswered. Taking a look at the board's design does not reveal any weakness. All slots can be equipped with full size cards and all connectors are well placed throughout. A little green LED is to indicate a normal operation. Only the CPU settings apart from non-standard FSB speeds have to be done completely via jumpers. As you can chose up to 150 MHz FSB, the board seems to be interesting for overclockers, especially due to the fact that the basic bus speed grade (66, 100 or 133 MHz) can be forced by the jumpers.

This candidate wasn't among the fastest boards, but ran relatively fast. Windows NT seems to be a real problem for some boards, and this one was also not able to complete the SYSmark run. As with the FIC and Gigabyte boards, the Tekram prevents itself from being a top candidate by quite poor NT stability. Of course we want to see boards with plenty of features, but reliability has to be the very first aim.