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Billy and Spot are back from Comdex,

with many stories to tell
and lots of work to do.

Motherboard Recommendations
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Intel's Power Supply 98 is the Tip of the Month
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"...if I were looking for information on the diet of the lemur in captivity, your site would probably be totally UNinteresting" – David

    Related Matters

  • I have now flashed the BIOS of the Soyo 6KB, a high-performance 440LX Pentium II motherboard.  I was reluctant to review this motherboard until Soyo had fixed a glitch in the BIOS.  Preliminary results indicate that this board will receive a good (revised) review.  On the other hand, the EPoX board I have is still in need of a Windows 95 PCI bus driver for its Apollo VP3 chipset.  I am waiting for either EPoX or VIA to send me this driver.

  • Fall Comdex is over now, and Spot and I have got ten times the work load that we started with.  We will be updating the site extensively with new product information and motherboard reviews.  As you might guess, our e-mail boxes were full, and since Spot is such a slow typer, I'll be answering them when I can.  Take a look at Spot's new pictorial entitled, "Spot Leaves His Mark on Las Vegas," in which he gambles, drinks, and scams his way into the world's largest computer convention.  Spot made me take most of the pictures, since in his words, "I'm not a great photographer, but I am pretty photogenic."
    Well, one out of two ain't bad for a pooch.  I have written a few highlights of Fall Comdex 97.

  • 11/9/97: There is a new Pentium Bug reported by "" using a dial-up account at the University of Texas.  Visit either the Linux Advocacy newsgroup or the Intel System newsgroup and look for the long thread. Original Subject was: This code will lock up any P5 machine, even usermode Linux! (F0 0F C7 C8), original post was made on Thursday the 6th.  However, Robert Collins says he's known of this bug for awhile, and so apparently has Intel, but since the bug applies to in invalid opcode, it seems unlikely that anyone will make a big deal of it.  But the newsgroups are of course populated with some strange people, as you will see if you follow the thread.  This bug is not all that significant unless you are developing Trojan horse or virus code.

  • 10/30/97: I have just received three motherboards from EPoX and Soyo.  I'll be reviewing them soon.  Yee Haw!  There are two AGP boards in the bunch, so get ready for something different.

  • See what's in store for the old power supply

  • AGP is finally here, sort of.  The VIA Apollo VP3 chipset has been released in small quantities for motherboard manufacturers to start designing their next-generation Socket 7 Pentium motherboards.  Major chipset advances include support for up to 1 GB of RAM (although 384 MB is more likely) including SDRAM, PC97 compliance, and the 133 MHz AGP bus.  Look for products based on VIA's new chipset in a few weeks if you can't find them, yet.  In the meantime, Intel has released the long-awaited 440LX for Pentium II processors.    10/30/97: I have just now received a VP3/97 chipset motherboard from EPoX, and when my 64 MB SDRAM DIMM arrives, the review will be soon to follow.

  • ...And the winner is...  Someone has just realeasd an AGP board for Socket 7.  It's 4:30 am on October 9, and I have confirmation that the VIA VP3 has finally made it to shipping motherboards.  Please see my Manufacturers page for more details.

  • It's time to update your wish list.  The tops things to get the kids for Christmas?  Computer hardware!  Get them SDRAM, AGP, OnNow, ACPI, ATX, USB, IrDA, and ATA-33.  Now if only we had an operating system that would natively support all of this.  Hmmm.  Maybe Santa will bring one?  Sorry, gang, maybe by Easter.  Microsoft is in big enough trouble as it is.   Also, IEEE-1394 is now called i-link.  The problem with that stupid name?  The word "link" is one that search engines may not list, and it seems to be a trademark of I-Link, Inc.  Dear Sony, Canal+ and Philips – Leave the naming of computer technology to people who know computers!  I personally like FireWire, but according to Theo Vlek from Philips,
    "IEEE-1394 is not a very 'consumer name' and we didn't like the name FireWire because of the danger factor it may convey to the consumers"
    That's just dumb.  However, i-link it is, and I will update my references to IEEE-1394.
  • Speed Up Your Modem using TweakDUN the MaxMTU Fix for free (trial).  This is a simple utility for people who surf the 'net using a modem and Win95.  It seems that Win95's default network setting are great for Ethernet, but not for modem connections.

  • Billy told you so, and it so it was.  Intel released the 440LX AGPset on Monday, August 25th.  Elsewhere, I have said that AGP would be here by 3Q97.  Well, let's just say that it's right here, right now.  If you have e-mailed Spot and he recommended that you wait a little, Spot now says that your waiting is over.  Now the problem is that I will be incredibly busy trying to keep up with all of the new boards!  I'm going to try and review as many of these new motherboards as possible.

  • Also see Tom's Hardware and Performance Guide  This site has got benchmark results for ALL major brands of motherboards.  It is very complete.  I must confess, Tom's site is clearly the best of its kind.  It beats many commercially-produced and maintained sites, and it has a plethora of information about motherboard-related technogies.  Tom has graciously had a link to my site since 11/13/96.

  • Read any good books lately?  I have about a dozen that I recommend for computer hardware junkies like myself and for the cost-conscious consumer who likes learning about PC's.  These books are great if you need a detailed guide to hardware installation.

  • According to Intel, "the Pentium Pro processor with one MB of L2 cache is now available for $2675 in 1000-unit quantities."  I have of course updated my recommendations page to reflect this addition.  The Pentium Pro CPU is still the beast to have in a server.  I'm a bit surprised at this move by Intel, especially since the spotlight will soon shift to Pentium II's, the 440LX chipset, and AGP.

  • I'm going to cap you, man!  What's all the stink about tantalum capacitors and cheap motherboards?  Read this article from the Techweb.
  • Do you need a Credit card with your name on it, but your credit is not perfect?  Everyone has to start somewhere, and the secured Visa® Future Card allows you to start out on the right track by giving you access to the 12 million locations around the world that accept Visa.  If you have some credit references, chances great that you can apply for the unsecured Visa Credit card and start on the road back to good credit.  Are you thinking that this credit card may not be for people who have good credit?  Well, even if your credit is good, consider that as soon as you use your Visa Future Card for the first time, you get a free vacation for two or 2-for-the-price-of-1 on a Carnival® cruise.  Still not convinced?  Okay, you can get the free vacation and the cruise, just for your using Visa Future Card one time.

  • The N-Zine! is a great electronic newsletter sent out by Neutron, Inc.  Neutron is a retailer of computer software and hardware, plus they have a top-notch website and e-zine.  In fact, the Neutron website has received my Hot Spot of the Year Award for 1997, which perhaps prompted them to feature The Motherboard HomeWorld in their September 1st N-Zine!

  • The 430TX chipset seems to be having problems with certain components, specifically Seagate ST 31720, ST 33240, and ST 32531 hard disks.  The same has been reported for the "Fritz Card" from AVM, which is an ISDN-BRI card, I think.  The problem has to do with the 3.3 V I/O signals produced by the chipset's PIIX4 EIDE controller.  The solution is to use a CPU that allows a 3.5 V setting, like the Pentium Classic, or replace the faulty component.  Motherboard manufacturers like ASUS have redesigned their motherboards to remedy this behavior, and Seagate and AVM have also made changes to their products.

  • Intel has found that their dear friend, Robert Collins, is quite a friend, indeed.  He has graciously documented and reported a floating point to integer conversion flag error, which he calls "Dan-0411."  Collins made his findings public on May 5, 1997 by posting a message entitled "Pentium II Math Bug Revealed" on the Usenet in and other related newsgroups.  I have preserved a copy of Collins' initial report for you here.  Robert Collins is the webmaster of "," a website that reports CPU-related information, spoofs Intel, and tells the reader, "What Intel doesn't want you to know."  See below

  • Here's a listing of Intel motherboards for those of us who can't tell a "Marl" from a "Zappa" motherboard.  See the Intel Motherboard Reference Comparison by Magenta Systems.  If you're curious, the Marl is an HX chipset board, and the Zappa is an FX board.  Also try this Intel motherboard page or this one.

  • This is the weirdest motherboard site I've ever seen.  This guy is an authority on one motherboard!!  When you click this link, scroll up slightly and start at the section entitled "My Sound is Screwed Up when I overclock!"  He describes how he uses the keylock to change his 486 CPU speed on-the-fly.  This is pretty extreme, but inventive.  (When this guy found my link, he e-mailed me sounding a little hurt for calling his site weird.  But I should say that he isn't alone: here's a link to a guy who's an expert on the Biostar 8433UUD motherboard.

  • Intel has announced a new passive-backplane motherboard form factor specification called NLX.  See their press release about it.  Another great NLX site is here.

  • Ampro and Motorola have announced an embedded motherboard specification called EBX.  The whitepaper can be found here.

  • You must see the ChipList!  This site lists nearly every CPU and µ-processor under the planet, from AMD to Zilog. Take a trip down memory lane.  Aad Offerman, the webmaster, e-mailed me in March 1997 to tell me that he will be updating it soon.

  • For those who kill for dirt on Intel, or those who work closely with x86 assembly code, you should see the website formerly known as the N-tel Secrets HomePage, which has listings of new opcodes, processor-specific bugs, and miscellaneous Intel CPU trivia.  Webmaster Robert Collins has changed jobs, changed his public attitude toward Intel, and changed his website to the "x86 Monthly Digest" since he got tired of harassment disguised as legal disputes from Intel.

  • If you just need some Product Support Listings for a computer hardware or software product, see CompInfo's web page.

  • For BIOS information, or to figure out who manufactured your motherboard, see Wim Bervoets' BIOS Page.

  • For help finding computer stuff besides motherboards, try Spumador's Hardware Page - he has 1000+ links sorted by category and alphabetically.  We have agreed to maintain links and banners to one another's site.

  • If you want the real meat of CPU opcodes, mnemonics, how-to's, and technical facts, you should view Christian Ludloff's new site, which he refers to as "".

  • Here's a list which I compiled on ISDN-BRI pricing for most states in the U.S.
  • Yahoo! lists my website here.  I am not listed here, but it's another good Yahoo! site.

  • Lockergnome is the only Newsletter you'll ever need.  Lockergnome's FREE E-ZINES

  • If you're in the market for a used motherboard, or for a general motherboard newsgroup, try this:

Tell them you saw it at!

What's the most important single component in a computer?  The CPU?  Hardly.  It's the motherboard!  So why not get the best one.  And what is the best one?  Well, that's up to you, the consumer, to decide.

Remember, I have the only site on the Internet devoted to motherboards.

If you want to advertise on The Motherboard HomeWorld, click here for more information.

«Editor's Note:» If you are wondering why I don't list your favorite vendor or manufacturer, it's probably not because I'm being selective.  Please send me e-mail if you want to see another site.  My only criterion is that the listing must be of someone who deals with motherboards on a daily basis.  Absolutely NO one-time offers or "slightly-used" motherboards.  Also, since this site is geared toward people who want a name brand (or at least know what to look for), I'd like to only post vendors that list the brand and/or manufacturer AND they list more than one motherboard.  Many vendors carry only one motherboard and just swap out the CPU for the speed you want it.  This is why I like to list vendors with "no CPU" prices.

Words of Wisdom (Rev. 7)

August 1997:      Love is like the ozone layer – You never miss it until it's gone.

Please see the Words of Wisdom Archives for previous revisions.

Send your ideas, suggestions, recommendations, praise, useful informaion, notes, editorials, credit card numbers, reviews, hints, wise cracks, awards for my site, pictures of your sister, complaints, comments, passwords, and money to: Billy Newsom, a.k.a. UrUIamMe.

† Warning: If a motherboard vendor asks you, "Would you like fries with that?" then you probably just requested a "hot dog on a stick," instead of cache-on-a-stick.  My advice to you: ask for a 9 nanosecond pipelined burst corn dog, instead.

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