Pine Technology BA1-D Dual BXby Anand Lal Shimpi on June 15, 1999 5:21 PM EST
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Hardware monitoring on the BA1-D is provided courtesy of the popular Winbond 83781D chip. The board actually offers more hardware monitoring functions than some more expensive dual BX motherboard solutions. The 83781D provides for fan monitoring for up to 2 fans, meaning that both CPU fans are monitored by the chip. It also allows for up to three temperature readings to be taken, and courtesy of the three built-in thermistors (one by each processor slot and one away from the processors for system/motherboard temperature) the BA1-D offers more temperature monitoring capabilities than quite a few motherboards.
|While the hardware monitoring output can be viewed from within the Award BIOS setup, Pine included a hardware monitoring utility on the CD bundled with the BA1-D. The CD also contains Creative Labs, Opti, and VIA audio drivers for other motherboards, as well as your basic Intel 440BX drivers and patches. Pine bundled a copy of Super Virus Buster, a Anti-Virus program by Paragon Micro International, with the BA1-D, however I wouldn't go ahead and ditch your copy of Norton Anti-Virus or Mcafee Virus Scan just yet. The CD does provide hardware monitoring utilities for Genesys, Ite, and Winbond based hardware monitors.|
As far as written documentation goes, the BA1-D AnandTech reviewed had none. Although the shipping model should have at least a quick installation guide, judging by Pine's history, the BA1-D won't have a strong set of written documentation to accompany the motherboard. When it comes to OEMs, Pine doesn't have to worry about written documentation since very few users actually ask for a motherboard manual when they buy a system.
The performance and stability of the BA1-D is average in comparison to most single processor motherboards, however when you migrate to the high-end server/workstation scene, the BA1-D falls behind the rest of the pack. As a pioneering entry in the high end desktop motherboard market, the BA1-D performs and runs quite well, as another dual processor server motherboard, you had better continue looking for some other options first. As mentioned before, the main strength the BA1-D offers over the competition is price. The board should be priced at around the $135 - $150 mark, and when coupled with a pair of cheap Pentium II processors, you end up with a fairly powerful dual processor system. For more information on the performance of dual processor systems, visit AnandTech's multiprocessor coverage (part 1, part 2, part 3).