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DFI CA64-EC VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review

DFI CA64-EC VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Apollo Pro 133A based motherboards have been selling very well in the past year primarily due to their excellent performance/price ratio and good feature set. In this review, we will be taking a look at one such board based upon the said chipset-- but with a twist.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: DFI Jan 15 2001   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > DFI CA64-EC

Installation



The CA64-EC automatically detects CPU FSB and multiplier information. In case the CPU multiplier isn't locked, there are DIP switches for manual configuration within easy reach. While exploring the BIOS options, we noticed the lack of the HCLK+33MHz BIOS memory option, which proves to be quite popular among enthusiasts. Perhaps DFI may add this option on later BIOS releases since most VIA based boards already have this performance tweaking option ready.

Under normal operation, our test sample performed flawlessly without problems at all as with other DFI boards we've tested so far.

Test Bed Setup

¡¤ OEM Intel Celeron 566MHz FC-PGA
¡¤ Tested boards: DFI CS65-SC (Intel 815), Soyo 6BA+IV (Intel BX), Soyo 7VMA (VIA PM133), DFI CA64-EC (VIA Apollo Pro 133A with ATA-100 support)
¡¤ 128 MB PC-100 CAS-2 SDRAM
¡¤ 3dfx Voodoo5 5500 AGP
¡¤ Western Digital 30GB ATA-66 hard drive, 5400rpm
¡¤ Orchid Nusound 3D (Aureal Vortex 1 sound card)
¡¤ NEC 5500A Dvdrom (8x/40x)


The memory speed of the Soyo 6BA+IV was set at 66MHz as the Intel BX chipset does not provide support for asynchronous memory/CPU FSB speeds. All boards had a 66MHz memory bus setting except the DFI CS65-SC, which by default (due to the architecture of the i815) uses a 100MHz memory bus.

All BIOS settings were tweaked for maximum performance on all tested boards. On all of the tests we used the Orchid Nusound PCI soundcard for audio reproduction unless noted otherwise.

Winstone Performance

For this benchmark, Winstone 99 and Content Creation Winstone 2000 have been used to test the overall performance of the test bed setup. Winstone 99 (Business Winstone 99) v1.2 is used to test the overall business performance of the computer system by using applications such as MS Office 97, Lotus Smartsuite 97, etc. Content Creation Winstone 2000 is a system level, application-based benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance when running today's Windows based Internet content creation applications. The test focuses on top selling Internet content creation applications. Each test was run 3 times with the result being the average value of the 3 test runs. Higher scores indicate better performance.

The Content Creation Winstone 2000 performance of the CA64-EC was just a bit lower than of the Soyo 7VMA (based on VIA PM133 & the old VIA Southbridge with ATA-66 support). As CCW scores are highly dependent upon memory bandwidth, we would have seen a much better performance score from the CA64-EC if the HCLK+33MHz option had been available.

Business Winstone 99 says that the CA64-EC slightly trails other solid performers tested so far and yet manages to keep up close with those motherboards with a 50% higher memory clock.

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Contents of Article: DFI CA64-EC
 Pg 1.  DFI CA64-EC VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Installation
 Pg 3.  Gaming Performance

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