Stability in both overclocked and non-overclocked situations was well above average. However, performance was below average, even for a VIA Apollo Pro Plus board, which we've documented before as somewhat below that of similar i440BX/ZX configurations.

Despite the Apollo Pro Plus's official support for 100MHz FSB, the 6AIA only claims support for 66, 75, and 83MHz FSB settings. All are available through Chaintech's own jumperless CPU setup, known as SeePU. Clock multipliers are also adjusted in the SeePU section of the BIOS. Generally most Socket-370 Celerons won't be able to make the jump to bus speeds 100MHz and above, so it's not a big deal for most users at this point in time. However, Celerons that officially support 100MHz FSB speeds are coming down the pipes soon from Intel. At that point, the lack of 100MHz FSB settings may limit upgrade options. Of course, support is in the chipset, so it may just take a BIOS upgrade to enable those speeds. In fact, a jumper is labeled in the manual for bus speed selection, but no additional information is given. Our Celeron 366 would not boot with that jumper at it's alternate position, but this is not surprising since it never runs at 550MHz.

That BIOS is the standard Award 4.51PG with the addition of Chaintech's SeePU jumperless CPU configuration. Complete power management is supported, including ACPI, wake on LAN, wake on ring, wake on alarm, and keyboard power on. Noticeably absent is a hardware monitoring option, most likely to lower the cost further in the highly cost conscious microATX market.

These days, many manufacturers are included quick start guides with full manuals on CD instead of a complete paper manual. Fortunately, Chaintech is not one of those companies and includes their standard manual that does a pretty good job of covering all the boards features. There's even some information for first time installers, but probably not enough to make the novice comfortable.

The CD includes ESS Solo-1 drivers, VIA chipset drivers and patches, and a pretty nice software bundle that you can actually use. Chaintech calls this their "AIRBAG" which stands for "AntiVirus, Instant Recovery & Busmaster Application Group." When you actually get is full versions of Norton AntiVirus, Norton Ghost, Trend PCCillin 98, and X Store Pro busmastering software. Ghost is the most novel addition and the item least likely to be included by other manufacturers. It is, however, quite possibly the most useful to any user performing an upgrade. Ghost is a great program that allows the exact cloning or imaging of a hard drive and is extremely fast at the task.

Index The Bad

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now