View Full Version : Life after BX

8th November 2000, 17:03
In the last week I've become aware of the shutdown of production of the trusty P3B-F by Asus. There are still some out there for sale, but hard to find and perhaps more pricey now. I've always liked BX based MBs - you just install the OS and go, none of this AGP miniport/power management patch/chipset drivers/BIOS flash nonsense I've seen with ALI and VIA chipsets. The BX also has robust performance with the G series cards from Matrox. If you look in the support forum at Matrox there are dozens of reports of freezes/lock ups from VIA and other chipset motherboards.

I was there for the past week, trying to get a G200 to be friends with a Tyan S1854. The system would freeze when being used for anything, usually inside of first minute of use. Matrox support troubleshooted the situation but was basically unable to come up with a solid solution. All cards in the system had been assigned to the same IRQ, and there was no way to assign them unique IRQs in Windows (ME) nor in the Tyan bios. Quite a scary thing when you are trying to get a system back up and stable for business.

I got rid of the Tyan S1854 and bought a used Supermicro BX based motherboard.

The whole experience has led me to ask questions about hardware reliability and what I should look for in a motherboard in the future.

In the reliability quiz I started, people are saying they like Asus motherboards, generally. Pairing it down further, what motherboards from Asus are you finding reliable and compatible with all memory, all video cards, and etc.

Or on another level, what chipset base seems best in your experience?

8th November 2000, 17:39
I've used a P2B, P3B-F, and am now using a CUSL2. The CUSL2 is as good (if not better) than the P2B and P3B-F. Stability, quality, etc. is excellent http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif (If only the 815e chipset didn't have the 512mb RAM limit and supported ECC, it truly would be the successor to BX)

9th November 2000, 02:07
isachar: don't forget to mention SMP http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif

BX is end-all for all the Intel P2/3/Celeron/Celeron-2 CPU's.... you won't need another chipset untill you get a P4 or a AMD CPU.

9th November 2000, 09:09
I'm very satisfied with the Intel i840 chipset.

On the other hand the ABIT BE6 and its poor Highpoint HPT366 controller really made me hate the BX chipset.

Don't worry about all that patching nonsense. Intel's support is perfect. There is an INF updater and an UltraATA driver and that's it. I never had the slightest problem with either of them. Both work on all flavors of Windows.

<style type="text/css">.sgn {font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11; color: black;} .sgnlink {text-decoration:none; color: #242472;}.sgnbold {font-weight:bold;}.sgnp3 {font-family: Arial;}</style><hr><div class="sgn">
Supermicro <a class="sgnlink" href="http://www.supermicro.com/PRODUCT/Chassis/sc750.htm">SC750A (CSE-017)</a> chassis, <a class="sgnlink" href="http://www.supermicro.com/PRODUCT/MotherBoards/840/840.htm#Table 2">PIIIDM3</a> motherboard
Intel <a class="sgnlink" href="http://www.intel.com/pentiumiii/">Pentium <span class="sgnp3">III</span> 667MHz</a> x2
Matrox <a class="sgnlink" href="http://www.matrox.com/mga/products/mill_g400/home.htm">Millennium <span class="sgnbold">G400 MAX</span></a> -&gt; iiyama <a class="sgnlink" href="http://www.iiyama.com/indexy/product2/9017e.htm">VisionMaster Pro 17 MT-9017T</a>
Creative <a class="sgnlink" href="http://www.soundblaster.com/products/sbliveplatinum/features.asp">Sound Blaster Live! Platinum</a> -&gt; Cambridge SoundWorks <a class="sgnlink" href="http://americas.creative.com/speakers/desktop-theater-2500/">DTT2500 Digital</a>
Microsoft <a class="sgnlink" href="http://www.microsoft.com/mouse/explorer.htm">IntelliMouse Explorer</a> (on USB)
Quantum <a class="sgnlink" href="http://www.quantum.com/products/hdd/atlas_IV/atlas_IV_overview.htm">Atlas <span class="sgnp3">IV</span> 9 WLS</a>, <a href="http://www.quantum.com/products/hdd/fireball_lct/fireball_lct_overview.htm" class="sgnlink">Fireball lct08 26, 17</a>, WD Caviar <a class="sgnlink" href="http://www.wdc.com/products/non-current/drives/ac420400.html">AC420400D</a>
Pioneer <a class="sgnlink" href="http://www.pioneerusa.com/dvd_single.html#DVD103/113">DVD-303S</a>
ZyXEL <a class="sgnlink" href="http://www.zyxel.com/html/product/ta/lcds.html">omni.net LCD Plus</a> (on COM1)
TV Tuner card with Conexant Bt848</div></font>

9th November 2000, 16:59
I've never had a single problem with my motherboard since I got it Aug 29/98......
and since then I've plugged in a whole
bunch of video cards, sound cards, etc.
with no problems at all.

Matrox G400MAX
PIII 616
Asus P2B-L
Quantum Fireball KX 27.3
Sound Blaster Live!
Motorola CyberSURFR
Pioneer DVD-103S

9th November 2000, 20:32

The P2B-L uses the BX chipset and is also discontinued.

The question is, where would you go next? If your mobo died, like my P2B did a week ago, what can you find that will be as stable?

In case anyone has any interesting insights into this, the way my P2B died was that Windows 98 and ME installation runs would hang on detecting PnP devices after the first reboot. When we traced it with MS Tech Support (setup /p b), this turned out to be hanging detecting the System bus, the very first thing it tried to check. For some reason it could install Win 95, but Win 98 and ME failed in umpteen attempts. No problem once the mobo was replaced with another BX job (a used Supermicro).