Tyan Tomcat i815T
One thing that has possibly affected Intel's sales of Pentium III and Celeron
2 based systems in the aftermarket has been the lack of interest from the average
consumer. While there are certainly high end solutions available, the OEM market
thrived on the the original i815 chipset. With its integrated video and the possibility
of integrated LAN and sound capabilities it was a no brainer why large computer
builders liked the cost efficient i815 chipset. But the average consumer shopping
the aftermarket wants more than a very basic experience with their 3D games or
for use with their applications. Intel not too long ago released the i815E chipset
- or B-step chipset. Simultaneously Intel released their new B-step Pentium III
CPU which offered higher clockspeeds and would only work with a B-step motherboard.
The B-step Pentium III now runs at 133 MHz FSB and supports PC133 memory. Is this
a viable alternative to the consumer who is used to getting their chipset solutions
from VIA? Tyan was kind enough to send their Tomcat i815T motherboard and as we'll
see the platform is very mature even at its recent release.
- Socket 370 support
(including B-step CPUs)
- 1 AGP,
- 3 Dimm
x 8" ATX layout
thing that jumped out at me about the i815T Tomcat was its very clean layout -
and lack of onboard sound. We have seen this arrangement with Tyan's motherobards
previously and we've come to expect that Tyan caters to users who expect better
sound than what is shipped with most motherboards.
next thing that is quite interesting is that Tyan has chosen to include 6 PCI
slots. It has been quite a while since I can remember seeing so many PCI slots.
Considering the flexability this affords I believe most will be very happy to
give up onboard sound for the inclusion of the extra PCI slot.