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DFI TA64B VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review

DFI TA64B VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: DFI has been quite a well known motherboard manufacturer and this fame can directly be attributed for their very attractively priced products. They offer a wide range of motherboards which are set not to pinch your pockets too hard. And as with all the others out there, DFI does have a VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset based solution as well¡­ their DFI TA64B.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: DFI Sep 08 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > DFI TA64B

Installation

The installation of the TA64B went without any problems and only one jumper was needed to be set to determine whether we were installing either a Slot 1 or Socket 370 CPU. Windows 98 installation VIA's 4 in 1 driver pack were installed without hitches.

Test Bed Setup

In order to benchmark the TA64B, we used the following equipment on all of our tested boards...

Intel Celeron II 566MHz FC PGA
Intel Celeron 400MHz PPGA
Tested boards : DFI P2XBL, DFI CB61, DFI CA61, DFI CW35E, DFI TA64 B, Soyo 6BA+IV, Soyo 7VCA, Soyo 6VCA . More info about Soyo motherboards can be found at Soyo's website

128MB PC 100 SDRAM
3dfx Voodoo3 3000 AGP
Western Digital 13000R ATA 66 hard drive
Orchid Nusound 3D (Aureal Vortex 1 sound card)
Sony CDU611 24x CD ROM drive

On the Soyo 6VCA & Soyo 7VCA we enabled the +33MHz memory speed over system bus option on the BIOS. This means that the memory was clocked at 100MHz while keeping the processor at a 66MHz bus. On the DFI TA64 B enabling this setting resulted in stability problems and we were forced not to use it. The DFI CA61 didn't allow us to use this setting at all. All BIOS settings were tweaked for maximum performance on all of the tested boards.

Our software setup consisted of

Operating system: Windows 98 First Edition, English
Busmastering drivers: Default Win98 ATA Bus mastering for Intel BX based boards, VIA 4 in 1 4.19 drivers for all Via chipset based boards, Intel 810 latest drivers for the CW35E
Video drivers: 3dfx 1.04.00, default driver settings, Vsync disabled, Quake 3 scores were taken with latest Metabyte Wicked3D MiniGL driver
Sound drivers: Latest Aureal Vortex 1 drivers
BIOS: Latest BIOS for every motherboard, all settings were optimized for best performance
Quake3 options: Normal Graphics quality, low sound quality and all the other default options, demo001 benchmarked at 640x480

We measured business performance using Ziff Davis' Content Creation Winstone 2000 1.0 and Business Winstone 99 1.2. I also used Quake 3 (1.11 version) full installation to get gaming performance scores.

Business Performance

The business performance charts show that the TA64B offers decent performance overall under the applications utilized by Business Winstone 99. We must take into consideration that the other VIA Apollo Pro 133A boards (Soyo 6VCA and Soyo 7VCA) had the HOSTCLK+33MHz memory setting activated while this option was causing stability problems on the the TA64B (if a different type of memory used, this may have solved the problem). Only a quick Intel BX based board can slightly outperform the tested board on usual business applications. The TA64B (like the rest of the boards based on this chipset) have a bit lower memory bandwidth compared to Intel BX based boards.

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Contents of Article: DFI TA64B
 Pg 1.  DFI TA64B VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Installation
 Pg 3.  Gaming Performance

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