Freetech's P6F99

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Flexus' Freetech Jupiter P6F99

A SIS Chip set Slot 1 Motherboard that sings sweetly!

 
Not a lot of folks have heard of Flexus Computer Technology nor their Freetech brand name motherboards, but we at Hot Hardware are going to help change that! Incorporated in 1990, Flexus has a mission to design quality motherboards and peripherals with a difference. Let's see if they have succeeded with respect to the Jupiter P6F99!

Based around the SIS5600/5595 AGP chip set, this board has some unique features including on board Creative Labs Audio! The board has a 4/3/1 configuration, as you can see, and that leaves you plenty of option slots since you won't need a sound card in one of them! Here's the rest of the story...
     

CPU:
Intel Pentium III, Intel Pentium II 233, 266, 300, 333MHz CPU, FSB 66MHz on Slot 1 Connector
Intel Celeron 266, 300, 300A, 333MHz CPU, FSB 66MHz on Slot 1 Connector
Intel Pentium II Deshutes 350, 400, 450 and 500Mhz CPU, FSB 100MHz on Slot 1 Connector

System Chipset:
SiS 5600/5595 AGP Chip set
ITE 8661F I/O chip
Optional Creative Lab ES1373 Audio Chip

Main Memory :

Three 168-Pin DIMM Sockets, supports 4MB to 768MB Memory
Supports SDRAM and EDO memory
Supports SDRAM ECC (Error Checking and Correction) Memory
Supports Symmetric and Asymmetric DRAM

Enhanced I/O :
Two EIDE ports support up to Ultra DMA/33 and Bus Master DMA mode 2 and PIO mode 4, One Floppy port maximum transfer rate up to 1M-bit/sec
Two 16550 Compatible High Speed Serial Ports
One STD/ECP/EPP Bi-directional parallel port
Standard PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse Connector
Standard Dual USB Connectors
One IrDACompatible Infrared port

Expansion Slots :
One 32-Bits AGP Slot,
Four 32-Bit PCI slots
Three 16-Bit ISA slots (one PCI/ISA shared slot)

Power Management :
Compliant with EPA, APM 1. 2 and ACPI 1.0
External Modem Ring On
Watchdog Timer wake up
Soft - off power control
Sleeping state LED indicator
Fan off in sleeping state
Wake-on-LAN (WOL)
Keyboard Password Power-On

Optional SiS System Hardware Monitor:
Monitors Temperature
Monitors Voltages
Monitors Fan Speed

Optional Creative Lab ES1373 Audio Chip:
Support Aureal A3D API for 3D positional Audio
64 Voice WaveTable synthesizer
interface to PCI bus and AC97 codec
Compliance with Microsoft PC97/PC98

System BIOS :
Support CDROM, LS-120 and ZIP drive multi-boot function
Years 2000 Compliance
AWARD Pentium II AGP/PCI BIOS
2M-Bit Flash EEPROM
Support Power Management, Plug and Play, DMI and Enhanced IDE Devices
Supports PCI - to - PCI Bridge

Cable Set :
One 40 - Pin IDE Ribbon Cable with Clip
One 34 - Pin Floppy Ribbon Cable with Clip

Board Size :
ATX Form Factor, 12" x 7.5" ( 30. 5 cm x 19cm )

     
Our board came configured with all those extra options for Sound, Temp. Monitoring etc... You may have noticed the Sound Chip set supports Aureal's A3D API, we put that to the test! More on that later. The dreaded ATX power connector did show up behind the CPU Slot again. This is all too common among newer Slot 1 boards. Other than that, as you can see, this is a no compromises type of set up! The features are there as well as the ability to set bus speeds at from 60 to 66, 75, 83, 95, 100, 112, 124, and 133 Mhz. The Front Side Bus speed has to be set by jumpers but the clock multiplier is set in the BIOS up to 6.5X. I think this was a little backwards. It would be nice to set those FSB speeds in the BIOS and leave the multiplier on a jumper or auto configured. Never the less, this didn't stop us from cranking this board up to 500 Mhz. on our rocket P2-333 ! How did the P6F99 hold up under the pressure? Let's look!
     

 Our Test System

Full Tower ATX Case w/ 300W PS, Pentium 2 -333 Overclocked to 500, Freetech P6F99 Slot 1 Motherboard, 64MB of PC100 CAS2 RAM, Maxtor 4320 17 Gig HD, Gigabyte GA-630 Voodoo Banshee AGP Video Card, on board Creative LabsES1373 Audio, Memorex 48X CDROM, Win98

 


Overclocking

This board was VERY stable at default voltage when overclocking our P2-333 SL2TV step code chip to 500 Mhz. This is a processor that needs a voltage boost depending on the motherboard used to overclock. Not so with the P6F99! There are no options for CPU voltage adjustment on this board, but we didn't need it. The board ran all our tests, without crashing even once, at default CPU voltage. In a word, robust!

     

Benchmarks

WinTune 98

Offline Test Results

 

CPU (1) Intel Pentium II with MMX@500 MHz
Video Board Gigabyte Voodoo Banshee AGP w/ 16MB
Video Mode 1024x768@16bits/pixel
RAM 64 MB
OS Windows 98 4.10.1998

 

Area Tested

Value

CPU Integer 1454.182 MIPS
CPU Floating Point 583.9475 MFLOPS
Video(2D) 87.63177 MPixels/s
Direct3D 204.0323 MPixels/s
OpenGL 7.958601 MPixels/s
Memory 821.739 MB/s
Cached Disk 92.32428 MB/s
Uncached Disk 3.027573 MB/s
     
These are great numbers at 500 Mhz. with the Integer and FPU score coming in close to our test on an Abit board at 515 Mhz.
 

 

 

Winbench 99 1024X768, 16 Bit Color Freetech P6F99
WinBench 99/Business Disk WinMark 99 (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

2170

WinBench 99/Business Graphics WinMark 99

158

WinBench 99/CPUmark32

1230

WinBench 99/FPU WinMark

2570

WinBench 99/Disk Playback/Bus:Overall (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

2170

     
Again the P6F99 posts solid CPU scores. The disk scores are a little light but respectable. We ran one more test just to see how the CPU scores really match up.
     

SiSoft Sandra 98 CPU Benchmark

 Good stuff! Although the MIPs and MFLOPs don't correlate with the Wintune 98 numbers (synthetic benchmarks... got to love 'em), you can see how we stacked up against a P2-400 on a BX chipset board... Smoked it!

One more test still to run now, showing you what it can deliver as a base for your gaming rig!

3D Mark99 - 800X600, Sound Off

Not too shabby with the Banshee card installed. We've seen better scores with a TNT board or SLI Voodoo 2s but these numbers hold their own. A quick note on AGP Video Card compatibility. This particular SIS chipset doesn't work with TNT based cards. A work around or patch is forthcoming, so I am told, from SIS.

     

Overall Impression and Sound Performance

I thought something was a little fishy when a chipset from Creative Labs was being reported as having A3D support. Actually the above spec list has an error. The chipset DOES support the Creative EAX API NOT A3D. At least that's what we found in our tests. We ran Half Life to test out the sound aspect of this board and its chipset. Half Life would not initialize A3D but loaded EAX like a charm. The sound was rich and spatial. I had a good sense of directional properties of the sound sources in the game as well. All told the sound on this board is an excellent version of Creative Labs latest sound technology.

The Freetech P6F99 from Flexus is a solid motherboard that really performs well and overclocks with the best of them. The on board sound features are also a big plus and are up to today's standards for feature set and quality.

 

The P6F99 got a Temp-O-Meter Rating of...

85 !

 

-Davo 
Tags:  Tech, Free, f9

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