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3D Spotlight : Hardware : Soyo 6BA+100 motherboard review


Soyo 6BA+100 review
Posted by Adam Klein on September 01, 2000
Company: Soyo     Product: 6BA +100 motherboard

The Intel 440BX has been around for more than two years and yet we are still seeing new motherboard being released featuring this chipset. There is a good reason for this. The BX has been proven to be the fastest and most stable chipset available.

Soyo has featured the BX chipset in all of their SY-6BA line of motherboards. The latest of these boards is the 6BA+100. It is basically the same as the 6BA+IV motherboard, with the exception of the integrated ATA 100 RAID controller. A lot of motherboards have recently jumped onto the RAID integration.

The BX is far from being something new, so you'll see a lot of companies try to spice up the life of the BX by integrating ATA 100 and RAID onto the motherboards. The BX motherboards would still reign supreme only if it had official support for a 133MHz front side bus. The only factor limiting the BX from stress free 133MHz bus operation is the lack of a 1/2 AGP ratio.

The only options available to the BX are either 2/3 and 1/1 ratios. On a 133MHz bus the AGP bus speed is well over the spec of 66MHz and is set to 89MHz. Some people will run into problems if their intent is to run the BX board at the unofficial 133MHz frequency, other will not. Of course PC133 memory should be used in any system running at 133MHz, but the only major concern with the BX would the the type of AGP board used.

As stated before, the 6BA+100 has built in RAID and ATA 100 support via the on board Highpoint 370 chip. The HPT 370 offers RAID level 0, level 1 and level 0+1 along with the ability to burst up to 100MB per second. RAID is a word you do not often hear when you think of a personal computing system, but the price of hard drives and the availability of IDE RAID is making it more attractive.

For those who don't know, RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. What makes this feature so attractive is the ability to run more than one disk, of equal size, simultaneously. The price of an IDE drive is still considerably less per megabyte compared to a SCSI drive and the price of an IDE RAID controller is also much more affordable than a SCSI RAID controller. With the RAID controller built onto the motherboard, this makes the controller implementation cost far less.


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