Need Advice on a Good Affordable MicrATX MoBo
Folks I'm looking for input/advice on a MicroATX board with on-board video and audio that is socket 370 Celeron and Coppermine capable. The main thing is that this will be used to upgrade my OIC's computer and I'm looking for extreme reliability. My unit will be buying this through a military open-purchase order and I have a couple of days yet to check around and let them know what we want. Right now we're looking real hard at the BioStar M6TWG that has an Intel i810 chipset and has both slot 1 and socket 370 interfaces. I've heard a lot of good things about BioStars in regards to reliability. They may not be cutting edge but I've heard that they're like the energizer bunny of MoBo's. If anyone out there has any other comments, or if there is a different MoBo that they think would suit my needs better and might be more affordable please speak up! Right now we're looking at paying $80.00 for the BioStar board. I would have rather had the unit purchase something along the lines of the AOpen MX-64, or an Abit or MSI MoBo but I think I'd be hard pressed to justify the expense to my Supply Chief. Also I think I'd prefer something with either the VIA 133/133A or an Intel 440BX/i810 chipset. Please folks - ANY AND ALL advice/input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
As I already wrote on Anandtech's forum, have a look at PC-Chips's M758LMR - this one uses the SiS 630E all-in-one 133 MHz capable chipset, including VGA, sound, modem, and LAN.
I'd prefer the SiS chips over i810. RAM compatibility is better on the SiS chips, and so is driver support.
Biostar in general also know what they are doing - much like PC-Chips, they are feeding the high volume low end market, and have long time experience in building all-in-one mainboards.
Using the current VIA chipsets would require a separate VGA chip onboard, including RAM, and would make things quite a bit more expensive. I haven't yet come across a mass produced board with any of the announced integrated-VGA VIA chipsets for socket-370 (but these will definitely be something to have a look at).
Peter, thanks for your reply here. Everytime you and I cross paths I end up learning something and you never fail to educate me further - especially in regards to motherboards. I just didn't realize that the SiS chipsets were that versatile and reliable. I guess I've shied away from them due to all the hoopla over the VIA 133/133A chipsets. Thanks again for the input!!!
Well, if you need an all-in-one, SiS is the way to go at the moment (and has ever been when you come to think of it) - with flexible clock options for CPU and SDRAM busses, a good VGA engine with high 2D resolutions and bearable 3D support, a minimum of four USB ports, and 10/100 LAN integrated, they're ahead of the competition in feature count - and in price too, because they managed to squeeze all that onto one single chip!
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