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| Unreal Tournament 2003 |
| DirectX 8 Gaming Performance |
Once again, the Tyan S2662 plays second fiddle to competing products from ASUS and Intel, despite a lofty price tag.
So here's the skinny... Tyan has done a wonderful job at ensuring a system equipped with a Trinity 2662 will function, as advertised. We didn't encounter any stability problems and performance with our 3.06GHz Pentium 4 was impressive, as expected. However, it was still below what we've already seen from competing manufacturers. Unfortunately, the good news ends there.
While the board does feature an impressively clean layout, it is missing a lot of the features that have become, dare I say, common on competing boards. It's missing Serial ATA, IEEE 1394 and most surprisingly, a tunable BIOS. Admittedly, it does feature AGP 8X Pro, making it an ideal candidate for a graphics workstation, but before you jump into a $200 motherboard, make sure you've given some thought to the applications you'll be running. If your primary use will indeed be in an office environment, rendering 3D scenes, this might be an ideal platform. But it's a niche and those of us who aren't in that niche have several other options. First, you could opt for another "Granite Bay" board. Or, you could save some money and go with an 845PE board, of which there are many. Finally, you could wait a little while for Intel's 800MHz platforms that should be surfacing within a couple of months.
Regardless, we walk away from the Trinity i7205 somewhat indifferent. If I had to make a cliché analogy, I'd liken the board to the stereotypical "girl next door." She's cool, has a wonderful personality, but without any of the physical features that the boys will paw over, she rarely turns heads. And the "Granite Bay" chipset is somewhat of an enigma in this regard. We'd love to say that the advent of Intel's dual channel DDR memory architecture has yielded phenomenal results, but as was just seen, it isn't that much of a departure from the chipsets we've already got at our disposal. Don't write it off yet, though. Once those 800MHz front side bus processors arrive, dual channel DDR will be necessary to provide the chip with sufficient memory bandwidth. Yes, the future is where we'll (hopefully) see a more tangible gain in performance.
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Features the stability that has made Tyan a workstation favorite
Intel's Gigabit Ethernet solution
AGP 8X Pro
- Prohibitive $200+ price tag
- Completely void of adjustable BIOS settings the enthusiast would want
- Performance is often times below Intel's more affordable i845PE platform.
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