RIOWORKS PDB-S Dual Slot-1 BXby Anand Lal Shimpi on June 9, 1999 2:26 PM EST
- Posted in
The configuration of the board, unlike most competing high end motherboard solutions, is done entirely through a jumperless setup portion of the included AMI BIOS. The board does feature overclocked FSB settings, however if you are interested in stability alone, then overclocking your workstation/server is not the most intelligent idea. Although your overclocked Celeron 300A at home may not crash during the day, you're not hitting your computer with 2000 requests at a time like most high trafficked web servers are.
The AMI BIOS setup provides an interface for the hardware monitoring features of the on-board Winbond 83781D chip. The 83781D, an extremely popular hardware monitoring solution, can monitor two onboard fans, 7 voltages, and up to 3 temperatures. As with most motherboards that use this chip, the PDB-S leaves it's third fan port un-monitored. Most likely a cost saving decision, RIOWORKS removed all external thermistor headers from the board, meaning that the only temperature that can be read using the Winbond chip is the temperature of the chip itself. A bit unfortunate if you're looking to keep a close eye on the operating temperature of your system.
The board was relatively stable during AnandTech's tests, when placed in a true server situation using ZD's Server Bench and Web Bench test suites crashes that could be attributed to the design of the board were minimal at best. Although the PDB-S did not match the quality and reliability of Supermicro during the tests, the PDB-S did remain somewhat competitive, an impressive contribution from a low-cost solution. The performance of the board, as expected, was on-par with most other dual processor solutions.
RIOWORKS includes a decent user's guide with the PDB-S, unfortunately the guide doesn't go into much detail about the setup of the Adaptec SCSI controller nor troubleshooting. Along with the manual is your standard bundled CD that contains drivers and utilities for use with the board, a copy of the SCSI drivers is provided on a set of 3.5" disks as well, just in case your only CD-ROM drive happens to be SCSI. Pretty much standard, you shouldn't expect any less from a motherboard manufacturer, although many times you will be given much less. Once again, in order to cut costs, the PDB-S does not come with a 68-pin Ultra2/UltraWide SCSI cable, nor does it come with an active LVD terminator, so you're on your own purchasing those cables if you happen to have any hard drives that need them.