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Asus A7M266-D, MSI K7D Master-L and Tyan Tiger MPX in the test: First look at AMD's dual mainboards

Asus A7M266-D, MSI K7D Master-L and Tyan Tiger MPX in the test: First look at AMD's dual mainboards

Costs

Let's come now to the cost of a dual processor motherboard. The first thing, of course, is the cost of a second processor. Since this also needs to be cooled, of course the one for a second CPU cooler. Not to forget the mainboard. Anyone who retrofits from an existing system can continue to use all of its components. The only thing to consider is whether there is sufficient ventilation in the housing, because two Athlons produce a not inconsiderable amount of waste heat. It has to be a midi tower with at least two case fans, which would result in low costs.

Because the MP processors intended for multiprocessor operation are still a bit more expensive than normal XP processors, the XPs are an optioninstead of using the MPs. A short test with the normal XP processors went without any problems. All three mainboards ran in our comparison test with Athlon XP1800 + processors. However, it will now be difficult to get XP processors that do their job in dual mode, as AMD removed this feature from XPs since February 1, 2002, which means that the current XPs are unsuitable for dual mode. However, it is possible that one or the other dealer has a few older XPs in stock. You should make sure that the XPs have a brown case and that the production week and the year, 0208 for the eighth week of production in 2002, are not exceeded in the second line. The first two numbers stand for the year, the second for the week. Because only those from the old production are still suitable for dual operation.

Multiprocessor capable XP

Impressions & Conclusion

All tested mainboards left a good impression during the test. The boards are well made, well equipped and easy to start up. Only the two 64bit PCI slots, which do not allow the operation of older PCI cards because they have no notch, are a bit limited.

Asus A7M266-D
  • Scope of delivery
  • Stability
  • Overclocking
  • Documentation
  • 6-channel sound
  • No on-board USB
  • No on-board LAN
  • Few fan connections
  • Little space around the CPU socket

The Asus cut a good figure with us, especially in terms of computing power. Unfortunately it has no on-board USB, so you are forced to waste a PCI slot with the USB PCI card. If you then have anotherMust install a network card, since the Asus does not have this on-board either, two of the five PCI slots are no longer available.

MSI K7D Master L
  • Scope of delivery
  • Outstanding overclocking
  • Mounting holes for CPU cooler
  • On-board USB
  • On-Board LAN
  • Bios does not correctly pass on the number of installed CPUs
  • Little space around the CPU socket

However, the MSI board annoyed us a bit. Each time it was restarted, only one processor was detected in Windows XP, including Windows 2000. That forced us to restart the board several times until finally both processors were recognized. Despite the many restarts, we could not find any regularity. Only the fact that Windows often correctly recognized the two processors when the computer was switched off and on could be described as regularity.

Tyan Tiger MPX
  • Many fan connections
  • Stability
  • On-Board LAN
  • Documentation
  • Overclocking
  • On-Board USB with Southbridge Bug
  • Little space around the CPU socket

With the Tiger MPX, however, everything went smoothly. It is not the fastest and the BIOS leaves a lot to be desired, but the 6 PCI slots and the on-board LAN interface make up for it. There is still a lot of space for additional expansion cards.

Problems with software, neither with older or newer ones Software through the two processors did not occur. In a stress test in which SETI @ home was running on both processors, a CD was burned on-the-fly at the same time, music was listened to at the same time, a download of an 80 MB file was running in the background while surfing the Internet, none of them preparedTest candidates the fewest problems. On the contrary, you can continue to work just as much as if you only had the currently active application open. Overall, it can be said that a dual processor motherboard is definitely worth the money if you work a lot with your PC. For the game freaks, a dual processor motherboard is not a reason to buy from the point of view of higher performance in games. Because only very few games support two processors.

We compared the dual-processor mainboards from the point of view of normal users. It was particularly important to us to use it as a desktop PC, as well as the stability and the possibilities of overclocking the boards. For use as server boards, as multi-processor mainboards are usually seen, the mainboards tested here are certainly also ideal, but we did not examine this aspect in more detail in this comparison test.

Not in one of them A representative comparison with somewhat older dual Intel mainboards, with Intel Pentium III 1000 MHz processors, showed the dual AMD mainboards that they can keep up with the competition's dual mainboards at any time and that they represent a real alternative. Only the enormous heat that the AMD processors develop has a negative impact here.

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