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Tyan's S1854 Trinity 400
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Date: Dec 15, 2001
Section:Motherboards
Author: HH Editor
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Tyan's S1854 Trinity 400 - Page 1

 


 

Tyan's S1854 - Trinity 400

VIA Apollo Pro133A with AGP4X

     

This is our first review ever of a product from Tyan here at Hot Hardware. There is no specific reason for that other than we just haven't hooked up with them before. Tyan is a US based Motherboard Manufacturer known for producing very high quality product. We are glad to see a "state-side" company in this market and were pleased to look at this exciting new board they have released.

We recently looked at the Soyo SY-6VBA+133 board based on the VIA Apollo Pro133 chipset. As we noted, the board is based on the original rev of the VIA Apollo Pro133 chipset vrs. the Pro133A version. The main difference is that the 133A supports AGP4X and the original rev does not. The Tyan S1854 - Trinity 400 board is based on the newer "A" rev. of the VIA chipset and officially supports AGP4X. Here is the rest of the run down on this board.

Specifications

(click image for a closer look)

  • Supports socketed Intel Celeron (PPGA-370) processors, up to 533+ MHz
  • Supports slot 1 Pentium II / III up to 600+ MHz
  • Chipset
    VIA Apollo Pro 133A
    (VT82C694X & VT82C596B)
    Winbond W83977EF Super I/O controller
    Winbond W83783S Hardware Health chip
  • Up to 768MB of memory; 3 DIMMs (3.3V only)
  • PC100/PC133 SDRAM with SPD support
  • 66/100/133 Mhz bus speeds
  • 6 PCI** slots, 1 ISA slot, 1 AGP 4x Slot
  • PC100 SDRAM with SPD support
  • Winbond W83783S Hardware Health chip
  • Integrated PCI IDE
    Two 40-pin IDE connectors for up to 4 drives.
    PIO Mode 3/4, UltraDMA 33/66 supported
    ATAPI IDE CD-ROM and LS-120 supported
  • Standard ATX form factor (12.0" x 8.3")
  • Flash BIOS
    Award BIOS on 2MB flash EEPROM
    Plug and Play
    APM 1.2 / ACPI 1.0 / PC99 compliant
    IDE drive auto configure
    Soft power-down
    Multiple boot options
    DMI 2.0 compliant

    Hardware monitoring of CPU voltage, temperature and Fan status
  • Optional Onboard Sound
    Creative Labs ES1373 PCI chip
    AC97 codec rev 2.1
    One MIDI / Game port
    Line in, MIC-in and Line-out ports
    4-pin CD-ROM audio (ATAPI) header
    4-pin Telephony (ATAPI) header

 


A VERY well rounded set of features come standard on the Trinity 400. This board has the best flexibility a VIA Apollo Pro133 chipset can offer in the market right now! It has both a socket 370 and a Slot 1 on board! This means you can run Intel Coppermines (with a Slotket adapter for the Slot1) all the way down to a Celeron in the Socket 370. There is also the option of on board sound. The board we tested did not have the Creative Labs chip. However, Tyan really hit the nail on the head with the addition of a PCI slot and the subtraction of an ISA slot. The 6PCI/1ISA combination is right about where the configurations today should be in my opinion. ISA is just about dead but occasionally you need to plug that old ISA Modem or NIC in, so it will need a home.

A Note On Quality

Finally, it is safe to say that we feel that Tyan has some of the best made boards around. The quality on the board itself is impeccable. I have never seen a cleaner motherboard design in my life and the manufacturing quality is superb. Every component placed on the board is perfectly aligned in its footprint on the board. The PCB is clean as a whistle with no traces of solder overlapping the leads on to the pad below it, just solid clean connections for the components everywhere. The ATX power connector is out of the way, as you can see, so that the cables don't get in the way of your CPU fan or heat sink. Reliability with this board should be excellent. Perhaps this is why Micron chose the board for its new line of P3-600 based machines.

 

Installation, Setup and Overclocking

Right from the get-go we want to point out that this board is not for Overclockers. Tyan was rumored to be including FSB settings in the BIOS but there was no trace of that ability in the board we tested. The jumper banks that you set up the CPU Clock and Multipliers with are straight forward but only give you the ability to run at a 66, 100, or 133 MHz. FSB. We tested a P3-533B processor on this board and had to stick with the default speed throughout our tests.

Stability with this board was excellent as you may have guessed. Once we got it set up we experienced no lock-ups whatsoever in our battery of tests. Obviously, we can't comment on the stability with an overclocked processor but if Tyan gives us this ability with a BIOS revision, we'll be sure to post an update.

We did however, have a slight problem with resource management on this board. We experienced a few lock-ups attributed to IRQ conflicts in Windows 98SE. Once we moved a couple of cards around in the various PCI slots, we booted clean without incident. Frankly, we don't know whether to blame this on the Trinity 400 or Microsoft's wonderful OS. However, we haven't experienced this type of problem with the current round of boards from other folks. In the end, this was a minor hiccup which was quickly rectified.

 
 
 

 American Muscle put to the test... Benchmarks! ---->

 
 
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Tyan's S1854 Trinity 400 - Page 2
 

Tyan's S8154 - Trinity 400

VIA Apollo Pro133A with AGP4X

     

Benchmarks

 


Our Test System

Full Tower ATX Case w/ 300W PS, Pentium III 533B (supplied by Outside Loop Computers), Tyan S1854 Trinity 400 Motherboard, 128MB PC133 HSDRAM from EMS, WD Expert AC418000 7200 RPM ATA66 Hard Drive, Gigabyte GA660Plus TNT2 Ultra w/ 32MB, Shuttle 56X CDROM, Win 98SE, DirectX 7, NVidia Detonator Reference Drivers Version 3.53


This is the same exact setup we used on the Soyo review with the obvious exception of the processor clock speed which was limited to 533 MHz. Here's how the American made contender faired clock for clock!

SiSoft's Sandra 99 - Tyan S1854 Trinity 400 - 533MHz.

     

SiSoft's Sandra 99 - Soyo SY-6VBA-133 - 533MHz.

 
The Tyan board comes in at a very close second. I was surprised to see any delta at all frankly but I am not as comfortable with the repeatability of the Sandra Tests, so we'll fire up Winbench 99.
 

 ZD Winbench 99

 
A much closer race than the Sandra Benchmark. This is more in line with what we expected to see. No clear advantage here either way in our opinion.
 

AGP 4X Performance

Ahh, the moment you have all been waiting for. What exactly does AGP 4X give you for performance gains in 3D Gaming on a card that supports AGP4X? We fired up the TNT2 Ultra Card from Gigabyte which does support AGP4X and then enabled AGP4X in the BIOS. Here are the results.

Can you say zilch?! As you can easily see here AGP4X, at least as far as the TNT2 goes, provides almost no benefit. At some point AGP4X will come of age and Graphics Card manufacturers will take advantage of the increased bandwidth it has to offer. However, that day is not here yet. Sorry folks, I wanted to believe in it too.
     
     

Summation

In short, this is a well made, high quality board from Tyan. With a few small concerns along the way, we feel it is a solid entry into the PC133 Motherboard arena. It also has great flexibility for system integrators in terms of its ability to utilize all of the various PC Based CPUs from Intel that are being manufactured at this point in time. On the other hand, the hard core overclocking community should take note that this board is not able to offer the tweaks you are accustomed to. At some point we really hope Tyan steps up and brings this option to the table with a BIOS revision. (BIG HINT TYAN!)

We give the Tyan S1854 Trinity a Hot Hardware Temp-O-Meter Rating of...

83

-Davo

Update!  2/28/00 -The  VIA Apollo Pro133A gets faster.  -->


Temp-O-Meter scores are rated on a number of key metrics including performance, stability, ease of installation, compatibility, feature set, "overclockability" and component quality. A perfect score is 100
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Tyan's S1854 Trinity 400 - Page 3
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