VIA Apollo Pro 133/133A Motherboard Roundup - February 2000by Anand Lal Shimpi on February 28, 2000 1:13 AM EST
- Posted in
VIA Apollo 133
VIA 693A North Bridge
VIA 596B South Bridge
66 / 75 / 83
100 / 124 / 133 / 140 / 150
Auto Detect - 1.30v - 3.5v
3 168-pin DIMM Slots
0 AMR Slots
1 AGP Slot
4 PCI Slots (0 Full Length)
2 ISA Slots (2 Full Length)
CMI8738 - PCI Audio
AWARD BIOS 4.60PG
The P6BAP-A+, in spite of its Socket-370-only interface is the largest board in this roundup. This is the only board that you may have problems with when installing if your case is on the small side.
The P6BAP-A+ is one of three boards in this roundup that use the 693A North Bridge instead of the 694X that the other 9 boards used. There’s nothing too special about this board, the expansion is somewhat limited as it only features 4 PCI slots.
The board uses the older 596B Mobile South Bridge. This combined with the limited expansion and the 693A North Bride make the P6BAP-A+ seem a bit dated.
The only unique feature of the P6BAP-A+ is the ability to force the 133MHz FSB setting, which in turn forces the use of the 1:2 AGP ratio. This feature, unfortunately, is absent from most Socket-370 motherboards that simply use the 2:3 AGP ratio when the 133MHz FSB setting is selected, such as the Socket-370 interface on the Tyan Trinity 400.
Like most of the boards in this roundup, the P6BAP-A+ doesn’t feature any core voltage adjustment, which is a big problem since this is a Socket-370 only board. The current FC-PGA CPUs have a default core voltage of 1.60v, and overclocking to the 667/733+ range can be very difficult without increasing the core voltage to 1.65v which is the default voltage for Pentium IIIs running at those speeds.
The stability of the board was average but with the lack of a core voltage adjustment function, overclocking using the board was quite difficult. Our 550E test system refused to boot at 733MHz on this board at its default core voltage setting of 1.60v, but with no way of changing the core voltage, we were forced to exclude the board (and its microATX counterpart) from the performance comparison. However, at the default clock, the performance was a little above average.