GameBoard DreamCode review
Franco on May 2, 1999
is a very successful OEM hardware manufacturer based in
Taiwan, they have been bringing OEM products to the European
and Asian market for a while now but now they are trying to
enter to the North American market with the introduction of
their GameBoard series of mobos aimed at the budget
conscious 3D gamer.
DreamCode comes will all the features you should expect from
today's Intel 440BX chipset based motherboards, it supports
Pentium III processors as well as all the latest Celerons,
it also supports bus speeds ranging from 66 to 133mhz,
but.... what makes the DreamCode so special?
It comes with a 16mb
RIVA TNT chipset as well as a Yamaha Sensaura 3D sound card
built in the board, however, because of that Powercolor
considered an AGP slot wouldn't be necessary, this isn't
THAT bad since the TNT is still a very fast chip but as a
gamer I'm sure you'll always want to have the latest 3D
card/chip installed in your system and the only way of
installing a new card in the future would be replacing the
motherboard which is pretty unlikely.
That's why I consider
this motherboard is more oriented to the budget conscious 3D
gamer, who really doesn't need the latest thing but good
speed in most of the games which the TNT provide. Also the
board comes with only 3 PCI and 1 ISA slot, again... with
the sound built-in this shouldn't be a problem.
The board I received wasn't final and didn't come with the
Abit Softmenu like system settings menu since it wasn't
finished yet according to Powercolor, anyway you won't have
to play with jumpers anymore, system settings in the
DreamCode are dip-switch based. You should be able to change
system settings in the BIOS with retails boards though, a
very very nice feature for overclockers.
FSB Pentium(r) II Processor Based ATX Mainboard with AGP
Intel 82440BX two chip AGPset
168-pin SDRAM DIMM sockets support up to 768MB. Supports
ECC (Error Checking Correction).
Three 32-bit Bus Mastering PCI slots (v2.1 compliant),
and One 16-bit ISA slot.
Two RS-232 serial ports (16550 UART compatible), One
Parallel printer port (SPP/EPP/ECP mode), One FDD port
(Supports LS120, 3 mode, 1.2/1.44/2.88MB FDD) and also
Provides IrDA port with optional cable for transceiver
two independent channels for four IDE devices, and up to
PIO mode 4 and Ultra DMA/33, Two PCI bus mastering ATA
- ATX form
factor, Four layers, 30.5 cm x 18 cm (12" x
- Award PCI
BIOS with green, ACPI, APM, plug and play, DMI functions
multiple-boot from E-IDE / SCSI /CD-ROM / FDD / LS120 /
ZIP, and Year 2000 compliant.
Stack Back-Panel I/O Connectors includes, PS/2 Mini-DIN
mouse & keyboard ports, Two USB ports, Two D-Sub
9-pin male Serial ports, One D-Sub 25-pin female printer
- FCC Class
B and CE EMI Regulation Compliant.
The Installation was fairly easy and I didn't make a fresh
install or anything, I removed my Abit BH6 and popped the
DreamCode instead, of course, now I was using the integrated
TNT and the Yamaha sound. I booted up and Windows98 made all
the work, I had to put the installation CD that came in the
box and that was it !
I was afraid
I wasn't going to be able to overclock my Celeron 300A as I
could in the Abit mobo but this wasn't the case, I set the
dip-switches for 4.5x100 and the system booted without
problems at 450mhz, stability hasn't been an issue either,
I've got this board running at that speed for about 2 weeks
with no problems.