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Tyan S1854 Trinity 400

Tyan S1854 Trinity 400


Tyan has always been known for producing one of the most stable motherboards on the market. Their Tyan S1854 Trinity 400, with no exception, is another quality product that easly makes it to the list.

As in the previous BoardRunner 6VA694CX board, the S1854 uses the same standard VT82C596B south-bridge. Tyan also manufactures the S1854 mainboard with a sound solution. This version; the S1854A, is the exact same board as it even uses the same south-bridge. Instead of implanting the newer VT82C686A south-bridge featuring the AC-97 Codec, Tyan decided to use the Creative ES1373 audio chip which is another acceptable home/office audio solution similar to the AC-97 Codec.

Their S1854 is based on the twin CPU architecture. This means it has a slot-1 and socket-370 interface on the board. Only one CPU can be used at a same time. The optional Slot/Socket simply acts to aid in the removal of slocket adapters. I am personally not a big twin design fan because you will end up paying the extra money for that feature, even if you will never plan to use it. On the other hand, this technique gives deeper processor flexibility to the ones who care.

One set of jumpers is present on the board that controls the clock multiplier. In order to get the motherboard up, you will have to choose the appropriate multiplier then you can tweak the clock frequency through the BIOS Setup. Tyan seems to be one of the few companies that care about expansion. Their Trinity 400 was the only mainboard that featured six master PCI slots. I would like to applaude them for implanting another PCI slot instead of using an AMR slot, something that almost all-participating companies in this article did.

The S1854 features 3DIMM slots, supporting up to 512Mbytes each. Taking a closer look at the PCB, there might have been a solution in implenting the fourth, but in order to respect the VIA133A limitation standards, Tyan decided to keep it standard. A fourth DIMM slot would not have been a logical solution anyway, as the motherboard would not accept four double-sided DIMMs.

The placement of the HDD/FDD connectors is very well positioned. They are all placed after the third DIMM slot and are easy to access. The Tyan board was the only board of the four that had DIMM/AGP interferance problems. In order to install the video adapter, you will have to close the DIMM locks.

The Trinity 400 S1854 was the single board that officialy did not like overclocking. The maximum this board could overclock was 112MHz bus using a 550E PIII CPU. I spoke with Tyan about the problem and they confesed that this specific product is not quite the overclocking queen. This automaticaly removes the S8154 board from the overclocker’s list. The S1854 performed quite well under the 100MHz bus tests. While not the best, the Tyan was one of the most stable boards of the round up. It also managed to get some of the nicest memory benchmarks, superior to its competitors.

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