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View Full Version : Hands on: ECS K7S6A (SiS74)



Dr Mordrid
9th June 2002, 13:48
This board is the follow-on to the ECS K7S6A (SiS735), which is in itself an over-achiever.

The differences:

SiS 745 supports for DDR333 RAM (PC-100 support dropped)

3 DDR memory slots vs. 2 in the K7S5A

More configurable BIOS (lots of new settings, incl. some O'clock settings)

APIC support (extended IRQ's in Win2K/XP)

Improved layout (floppy & IDE cables aren't so close as to cause tangles)

Power connector out of the way

No LAN connector (but onboard audio is still there)

about $70-80 and very much worth the price difference from the K7S5A when it comes to DDR333, convenience and the improved BIOS.

Advantage over VIA KT266/333 chipped boards;

The KTxxx boards are set up to emphasize CPU to memory performance. This may be fine for playing games, but they fall on their arse when PCI busmastering is the essential ingredient.

Where the ECS K7S5A/K7S6A differ is that they do emphasize PCI busmastering over CPU benchmarking. This makes them excellent boards in systems that will have multiple cards installed that, either singly or cumulatively, will require a high PCI bandwidth.

Just one example: a high bandwidth RAID plus a realtime editing board. Lots of bits moving through the bus in these rigs and they push the PCI bus to the limits.

Dr. Mordrid

GT98
9th June 2002, 19:54
Hey Doc,

I'm getting my Asus A7S333 (SIS 745 board :) ) board in tommorow and I'm putting in a Promise RAID controller in it. Whats the best bet to place the RAID controller in which slot? Number 2?

Should be interesting compairing the Asus, MSI (Greebe has one) and now the ECS boards....


Scott

Greebe
9th June 2002, 20:43
I do believe they support upto 3 gigs of onboard mem (mine does). Capable of some extremely high FSB speeds (mines running 187 atm), great PCI bus bandwidth (peachy).

The only thing I don't like about mine... position of the IDE/floppy ports as they are truely a s t r e t c h when used in a full tower case and a more configurable BIOS as far as mem configuration goes... also MSI insists that AMI messed up when they incorporated APIC 1.4 as an option (applies to dual or greater systems only)

what I like... stability!!! (at a small cost in performance) and no driver issues (unlike VIA)

Nuno
10th June 2002, 04:14
what I like... stability!!! (at a small cost in performance) and no driver issues (unlike VIA)


Agree 250%! :)

Dr Mordrid
10th June 2002, 04:44
The APIC support works fine on my single CPU boards that have it. While it does have features that dualies can use it's not meant for them ONLY. Where dualie APIC boards differ is that each CPU will have its own APIC chip.

The trick is that the OS should be installed with APIC active so Windows2K SP-2/XP can configure itself properly. Once that is done interrupt handling gets MUCH faster and smoother.

More on APIC: http://www.microsoft.com/HWDEV/PLATFORM/proc/IO-APIC.asp

Dr. Mordrid

Sasq
10th June 2002, 06:31
Naa these boards are restricted to 1.5GB of memory (well at least according to the manual)

Dan

Dr Mordrid
10th June 2002, 07:46
1.0 gig for the K7S5A and 1.0 or 1.5 for the K7S6A, depending on the chips you use.

Dr. Mordrid

Gurm
10th June 2002, 12:10
Sucks. I knew there was a reason I bought MSI.

3GB limit, here. Not that Crucial is making 1GB sticks yet.

- Gurm

GT98
10th June 2002, 14:19
ASUS A7S333:

3GB @ PC2100
2GB @ PC2700

:D

GT98
10th June 2002, 14:20
Question for you guys with the MSI board...does it support the PC2700 in all three slots? On my Asus Board it doesnt only PC2100 Speed in all three

az
10th June 2002, 15:39
Is that important for real life or just bragging rights?

AZ

Sasq
10th June 2002, 18:18
from my K7S6A manual ... each slot can support 512MB with a total 1.0GB (2 unbuffered DDR333 DIMM) or 1.5GB (3 unbuffered DDR266/DDR200 DIMM)


Dan

Greebe
10th June 2002, 19:49
Doc is that APIC v1.1 or APIC 1.4.. the 6561 has both! (Oops)

Dr Mordrid
10th June 2002, 22:19
Not much difference really. 1.4 is just a bit tighter of a spec and both are supported by the current Intel APIC chip. APIC is Intel property. OpenPIC is supported by other companies but no mainboards I know of use it.

Once you have APIC & ACPI on and the OS installed this is what you see in Device Control (the other GA-7VRX system here just because I already have an image of it);

http://digitalvideo.8m.net/irqmapapic.jpg

The blacked out entries are (classified) :D

Dr. Mordrid

mdhome
11th June 2002, 01:12
Scott
Let me know how you fare with the Asus because it looks like a nice board. I recently bought one because it had thermal protection for the CPU. Unfortunately I am in the process of RMA'ing it because it had issues with the disk drives ie failing to boot. There also appears to be some bios issues that can cause it to lock up whilst in PnP mode.


Regards Michael

GT98
11th June 2002, 05:07
Originally posted by mdhome
Scott
Let me know how you fare with the Asus because it looks like a nice board. I recently bought one because it had thermal protection for the CPU. Unfortunately I am in the process of RMA'ing it because it had issues with the disk drives ie failing to boot. There also appears to be some bios issues that can cause it to lock up whilst in PnP mode.


Regards Michael

Well I got my board setup last night and so far so good with it. Only issue I ran into (which isnt the boards fault) was that XP died when I went to install it because the Promise Controller saw the old Partions that took off my old PC. I had to get Windows 2000, boot off that and delete the partions and XP then went in like a champ.

The other issue is that my ZIP 250 drive isn't working right now, but I need to do some more investanting to see if its a problem with the Motherboard or the ZIP drive. I know the IDE port works fine since I had an old 10GB drive connected to the port and was used to restore my backed up info on to the new array. It was getting late and I decied to call it a night but I'm back up and operational. I also need to fix my Lights on my computer, as I am not getting any power indicator lights on my case or HHD lights :).

Oh forgot to add that the 1004 BIOS fixed the Plug and Play issue