Recommendations and Conclusions
Since this was the first KX133 based board I have tested, I really put this through it’s paces. Both a 500MHz and a 900MHz Athlon were used over the course of three weeks of continuous testing. In fact, during this period of time the system was shut down only to swap components. I also swapped in several video cards and installed Windows 2000 from both IDE and SCSI CD devices.
Overall, the Trinity K7 appears to be a suitable choice for any business, home or gaming usage. Though the overclocking capabilities of this motherboard are essentially non-existent, the reliability and stability appears to be very good. I would not hesitate to recommend this product for standard business desktop usage. In particular, if you are looking for a motherboard that can support processors up to 1GHz, with good reliability and where processors are readily available, I suggest that you take a look at this one.
Based upon my tests, I have the following set of observations/recommendations
- Correction:While the FSB (memory controller to CPU) cannot run faster than 200MHz (100MHz DDR), the BIOS allows the memory to controller bus to run at either the CPU clock (100MHz), CPU -33MHz (66MHz) or CPU +33MHz (133MHz). If you already have PC100 memory, there is little reason to replace it with PC133 memory, as the performance difference is likely going to be relatively small for most users (benchmarks to be provided in a follow-up platform comparison). On the other hand, if you are going to purchase new memory anyway, the PC133 is the best choice.
- Tyan offers a 3-year warranty, but it is only to the original purchaser (meaning, either the distributor or vendor). Make sure that when you purchase your vendor will honor the full 3-year warranty (vs. the very prevalent 30-day policy), because Tyan will require that you deal with your vendor for any warranty issues.
- If you plan on using three 128 MB or larger modules, check with Tyan for the BIOS update to correct the problem I detected with RST. It is apparently a loading issue that the BIOS should be compensating for during POST.
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