Klein on September 01, 2000
Soyo Product: 6BA
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.
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.
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
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.
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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