Subject: Re: P6 Natoma chipset
To: None <port-i386@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Guenther Grau <>
List: port-i386
Date: 08/07/1996 20:16:24
Hi Michael,

first of all, please DON'T crosspost. Either send your mail to one or the
other list, but not both. As this is obviously a port-i386 related topic,
port-i386 is the way to go. Thanx.

> I'm going to be buying a 200MHz Pentium Pro and motherboard (probably
> a dual-CPU) in the next week or two.  I know the Orion chipset has
> some nasty bugs (like the 4MB/s PCI bus speed).

A German computer magazine has tested the latest PPro boards in their
latest edition (c't 8/96). They found that the AHA-2940 can do 85MByte/sec
on the average. But the CPU can only do about 23 to 28 MByte/sec on the
PCI bus. They recon that this might be due to problems with synchronizing
the GTL+ and the PCI bus.

> Has anyone discovered any horrible bugs in the Natoma (440FX) chipset,
> or is it working well so far?

It looks like it works well so far. Just make sure that the BIOS activates
all the chipset goodies, or do it yourself if the BIOS lets you. Just don't
activate 'Fast Refresh' in the AWARD BIOS, because it will cause refreshs
to happen more often (30 times more often), which slows things down a

> I also remember reading something about someone having quality
> problems with SuperMicro motherboards.  Any opinions on SuperMicro
> versus ASUS, WRT build quality, reliability, support, and speed?

Some boards require new ATX-power supplies, others don't. None of the 
boards supports BEDO properly, but as you can't buy BEDO-RAMs anywhere
this is probably unimportant. Other known problems are large SIMMs, like
64 MB, which not all of the boards grok properly.
My personal opinion is, that Asus has good quality, but is way to expensive
for this. Buy either Tyan or SuperMicro.


P.S.: I just bought a Tyan-P5 dual board, but it just arrived today so
I cannot say anything about it, because I haven't even assembled it :-)