Tyan S2662 Trinity i7205 Motherboard Review - HotHardware

Tyan S2662 Trinity i7205 Motherboard Review

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Tyan S2662 Trinity i7205
Dual Channel DDR for the Pentium 4

By, Chris Angelini
February 24th, 2003


KISS - four letters that together, can mean so many different things.  It's a '70's rock band, it's a gesture of affection, and for Tyan, it's an acronym.  "Keep It Simple, Stupid" - quite possibly the best way to avoid costly mistakes that occur when a manufacture gets over-ambitious in its motherboard design.  Indeed, Tyan's corporate overview cites reliability as a primary focus of the company and its products reflect that.  And as a result, Tyan has established a reputation for dependable server and workstation boards, only recently venturing into graphics with ATI's RADEON family.  Competing manufacturers often release two or three boards based on the same chipset in order to capture various price points.  Not so with Tyan. Instead, they have historically manufactured a single board based on platforms known  to deliver stable operation.

As such, the S2662 Trinity i7205 board is Tyan's only "Granite Bay" product.  Tyan does offer i845GL and i845E boards, both clearly designed with integration in mind, as well as a rack mount-ready ServerWorks board, but none of these products appeals to the desktop enthusiast.  The Trinity i7205, however, is more well-rounded.  It features AGP 8X Pro, integrated audio, USB 2.0 and of course, dual channel DDR memory support.  But while it may be a stand-out in Tyan's own line of high-end products, we'd like to know how the board fares against competing products, and if that $200+ price tag can be justified.

Tyan S2662 Trinity i7205 Board Specifications
Simple, Yet Robust


 

Processors

Socket 478  processor
Supports one Pentium 4 processor up to 3.06GHz+

533/400MHz Front-Side Bus Support
 

Chipset
Intel E7205 chipset

MCH+ICH4+FWH

Winbond W83627 Super I/O chip

Analog Devices ADM1027 for system monitoring


Memory
Four
184-pin 2.5V DDR DIMM sockets

Supports up to 4GB of unbuffered DDR266/200

Dual channel memory bus

Supports ECC/non-ECC modules

 

Integrated LAN Controller
Intel 82540EM Gigabit Ethernet Controller

One RJ-45 LAN connector with LEDs


Intetelligent Audio

Intel ICH4 AC-97-compliant audio link

ADI 1981A codec

Line-in, line-out, mic-in rear jacks

One RCA S/PDIF connector

One front panel audio header

One 4-pin analog CD-ROM audio header

One 4-pin auxiliary audio header

 

Integrated PCI IDE

Provides two bus master channels for up to four EIDE devices

Support for UDMA 100/66/33 IDE drives

 

 

Integrated I/O Interface

One floppy connector supports one drive

Two 9-pin serial connectors

One 25-pin ECP/EPP/SPP parallel header

6 USB 2.0 ports (two rear, four via header)

PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports

 

System Management

Total of four 3-pin fan headers

Three fan headers with tachometer monitoring

One 3-pin chassis intrusion detection

Temperature, voltage, and fan monitoring

 

Expansion Slots

One 8X/4X AGP  Pro50 slot (1.5V)

Five 32-bit 33MHz (5V) PCI slots

Total of six usable slots


BIOS
Phoenix BIOS 6.0 on 4/8Mbit Flash ROM

LAN remote boot (PXE)

Quick boot and multiple boot support

ACPI v2.0 support

Auto configuration of IDE hard disk types

 

Form Factor

ATX footprint (12" x 9.6", 304 x 243mm)

6-layer design

ATX12V power connector


Intel E7205 Block Diagram

"Granite Bay" isn't so much about new technology, as it is the evolution of the technologies we are already familiar with.  The link between the processor and MCH is designed to run at 133MHz, quad-pumped, effectively 533MHz.  Each of the DDR memory channels supports up to DDR266 memory, which may seem like a step back from the PC3200 modules that power many single-channel systems, but combined, the E7205 chipset is able to offer 4.2GB per second of memory bandwidth.  Of course, this matches the 533MHz front side bus perfectly.  Moreover, "Granite Bay" is Intel's first consumer chipset with proper AGP 8x support, enabling a 2.1GB per second link between the graphics interface and MCH.  An 8-bit link connects the MCH and ICH4, providing 266MB per second between the two.  SiS and VIA have already implemented high speed links between these two components so it will be interesting to see how long it takes Intel to follow suit, especially with the addition of Gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 and other devices that can quickly gobble up available bandwidth under full utilization. 


The Board: Tyan Trinity i7205

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