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Overclocking

The words Intel and overclocking just don't go hand in hand. With a permanantly locked CPU multiplier the best method to overclock a CPU is with adjustments to the front side bus. This is very dependent on the quality of your memory and also the components attached to your PCI bus. The Tomcat features FSB adjustments in the BIOS. They are the stock 133.3, 133.6, 138, 140, 150, and finally 157 MHz FSB. Unfortunately I had stability issues at 138 MHz so the best I could do was the 133.6 setting - an overclock of just under 3 MHz. The lack of the 134, 135, and 136 MHz FSB settings we've seen with other boards hurts this boards overclocking abilities

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Software

Tyan may be dropping the ball here. Other manufacturers are giving large software suites with their motherboards. The Tomcat shipped only with a manual and a driver CD. By most manufacturers' standards that is skimpy to say the least. I'm sure most of you already have your preferences when it comes to antivirus software but its nice to get partition software and a few other disk utilities to make the transition to a new motherboard easier.

Conclusions

The Tomcat delivered respectable performance and was very stable throughout the two weeks I worked with it. It features a very clean layout and has Tyan's reputation for quality behind it. We saw very good performance in Quake III Arena and good scores with the 3D Mark benchmarks.

I think this board would be a very good addition in a business environment as well as at home. The Tomcat is clearly marketed towards the high end consumer who wants a large amount of expandability on a stable board. If you plan to do any overclocking I highly recommend you invest in very good memory and PCI components as the jump from 133.6 to 138 MHz will be hard for most memory as well as PCI components.

Victor Oshiro November 24,2001

 





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