Rashid Jamil

Good motherboard for K6-2 with UDMA chipset under Linux?

Extracted from askslashdot Tip provided by ? Seymour asks "I have recently been having various minor troubles with my motherboard and I am considering an upgrade. I am looking for suggestions of motherboards that will accept the K6/233 CPU (and the K6-2 or higher I guess), has an AGP slot, and takes DIMMs for memory. Also wanted is a chipset that Linux supports well for UDMA hard drives. Future upgradability to a K6-2 and a 100 MHz bus speed would be a plus, but not necessary. "AMD motherboards : Check out http://www.amd.com for recommended motherboards. I decided to get a FIC VA 503+ as an upgrade for my computer, because it's a super 7, with a BAT form, and I can keep my old memory. I am sure you will have different requirements. Good luck on your search. P.S. Checkout http://www.tomshardware.com . He has tested many of the motherboards that are recommend by AMD. My system... : I'm using the FIC PA-2013 with no problems. Get the 2MB version if you can (I'm running 1MB; they didn't have the 2MB available when I bought it). ACER AX59Pro : Using one of these puppies with a Pentium MMX, if you get one with the 1MB cache, they absolutely rock. VIA MVP3 chipset (supports UDMA ops in 2.2.0pre), ACPI PCI 2.10 support (BIOS v2.0), AGP, 4 PCI, 2ISA, 3 DIMM, 2 SIMM, selectable voltage from 1.3-3.5V, selectable CPU or AGP memory clock timing, FSB speed of 60-112MHz, USB, etc. in a ATX factor. Only thing is that the HWMon doesn't use standard chipsets, so if you like LM75/78 monitoring, no can do. Avoid Micro-Star ALI based motherboards : We were selling them at work for a while, and they proved to be very fussy about the RAM they had in them. Typical symptoms included fatal exceptions, hanging on boot, etc. The problems were mainly with 32mb DIMMs, so if you were using larger ones you'd likely be fine. Shame, because they were nice boards other than that. FIC/Chaintech/Asus : IMO, the best choices are - FIC PA-2013 - caches 256 megs, does 112Mhz FSB, but only 4 PCI slots Asus P5-A - 5 PCI slots, can get it with audio on board, can overclock up to 125Mhz in 5Mhz increments but will only cache 128 megs of ram Chaintech somethingorother - 5 PCI slots, caches up to 512 megs, can't overclock, difficult to get (Unfortunately no perfect board) FIC VA-503+ : I recently upgraded my primary workstation with a FIC VA-503+ and an AMD K6-2 (333Mhz, Overclocked to 380 Mhz). Motherboard and CPU for about US$200. RH5.2 linux runs great on it. Toms Hardware Guide has a good review of "Super 7" motherboards. There are definitly some tradeoffs with the available MBs, so consider which things are important to you and which things are not, and choose a MB which matches your needs. AOpen AX59Pro : I have had good luck with the AOpen AX59Pro with a K6-2 300. I have never had a system crash that was not directly attributable to a software error, e.g. X screwing up in DGA mode. I typically leave my system running 10-20 days at a time without problems. The BIOS is very flexible, too. You can find out more on Tom's Hardware Guide ( http://www.tomshardware.com ). ASUS P5A : The Asus PA5 motherboard uses the ALI chipset, supports most socket 7 CPUs, has 2x AGP slot, 100MHz FSB support, uses DIMMs, and is very happy with my AMD K6-2 350MHz RISE R-582E : I just got the RISE R-582E for my k6-2 350 because the price was great ($55). Supports SIMMs or DIMMs, USB, and APG. BAT factor. I've had no problems with it. One more that works : The Soyo 5OEHM. "Only 1Mb" cache though, and only 3 PCI slots and 2 DIMM slots (2 SIMM slots and 3 ISA ones also still available). DFI P5BV3+ : Works killer, I've installed 5 in the past 5 months and I love them. Lots of PCI, very fast and easy to setup. Tyan S1590S : Good motherboard. Have had no problems. Large L2 cache. AT form factor. No problems, just remember to get the Tyan Bus mastering drivers from http://www.tyan.com It depends if you need an AT or ATX form-factor ma : For the AT form-factor, Tyan has an excellent board with the VIA mVP3 chipset, the S1590S. It has 9 slots (yes, 9, 8 usable in a 1/4/4 AGP/PCI/ISA config) with 3 DIMM and 2 SIMM slots and a 1MB cache. For the ATX interface, the FIC PA-2013 2MB version sports a massive 2MB L2 cache (1MB is standard, you want the OEM 2MB version)! It also features a 1/4/2 AGP/PCI/ISA config with 3 DIMM slots. Also for ATX is the Soyo SY-5EHM+, a good choice with 5 PCI slots (1/5/2 config) and 3 DIMM slots. All boards feature Award BIOS (Tyan give you the additional option of AMI BIOS, although I would stick with Award). I think the only drawback is the lower voltage limit at 2.0V (which may keep it from using future 0.18um K6-3 processors above 500MHz speeds). But, then again, a 0.18um K6-3 may never see the light of day as AMD pushes out the K7 with priority. You will be fine with K6-2 and K6-3 processors upto 500MHz since they run at 2.2-2.3V (possibly 2.4V for the 500MHz parts?). Good motherboard reviews on super7.net : The motherboard reviews super7.net ( http://www.super7.net/ ) are very good. It also contains a forum for users to post their comments about each of the Super 7 boards listed. After deceiding on on a short list, I'd suggest dejanews as the next best way of making selection. However you pretty much can't go wrong by chosing one of the Asus, Epox, Aopen, Soyo, or Fix motherboards. The FIC PA 2013, should be coming out with a 2MB L2 version which will go well with the K6-3 relatively soon. Personally I wanted the Epox EP-MVP3G-M, but poor distribution in the UK, meant I ended up buying the Asus P5A. On Monday I'll know how good this board is, when I get the parts for my K6-2 350 system.

Rashid Jamil

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