Well, in my opinion Chaintech impressed me enough with their 6FTM motherboard, however their 5TTM made an even greater lasting impression on me...want to know why?


Motherboard Specifications

Socket Style: Socket 7
Chipset: i82430TX
Cache: 512KB
Form Factor: ATX
BUS Speeds: 60 / 66 / 75 MHz
Clock Multipliers: 3.5x / 4.0x / 4.5x / 5.0x / 5.5x
Voltages Supported: 2.5v / 2.8v / 2.9v / 3.2v / 3.3v / 3.4v / 3.5v
RAM Slots: 4 72pin SIMM Slots (EDO/FPM)
2 168pin DIMM Slots (SDRAM/EDO/FPM)
PCI/ISA Slots: 4 PCI Slots
4 ISA Slots (1 Shared / 4 Full Length)
BIOS: AWARD PnP BIOS w/
SeePU Jumperless CPU Configuration
PCI EIDE Controller: Super I/O
2 EIDE Channels
1 FDD Channel
2 Serial /1 EPP

 


The Good

First of all, I suggest you read the Chaintech 6FTM review for the minor details about Chaintech boards that really impressed me. Lets just get straight to the goodies! The 5TTM, by all means, does not suffer from any sort of layout problems. It features the now standard, 4 PCI / 4 ISA slots, 4 SIMM / 2 DIMM slots, switching voltage regulators...and this particular board features the spectacular SeePU Jumperless CPU Setup like its Pentium II brother, the 6FTM. The board features an excellent manual which thoroughly describes every feature of the motherboard as well as an accurate and easy to use installation guide (For more information see the Chaintech 6FTM review). The AWARD PnP BIOS Configurations on this particular board give the user incredible control over basically everything, it is definitely for the die hard tweaker. Performance wise, the Chaintech 5TTM was on par with the HX83 for the most part with the AMD K6 scores, and came fairly close with the Pentium MMX scores. The Disk Winmarks were also excellent, and rivaled those of the Shuttle HOT 565. The graphics performance of the 5TTM was quite above average, bringing in Business Graphics Winmarks around 100 points. Stability at un-overclocked speeds rivaled some of the best boards I've tested so far, this one is definitely worth your consideration.

The Bad

The Chaintech 5TTM had a few more flaws that the 6FTM I tested, but nevertheless it is a great board. With this board, getting the 75MHz bus speed to work was nearly impossible. I tried using the worst BIOS settings possible, and even with generous SDRAM timings Winstone would crash on me. The 5TTM also left me longing for an 83.3MHz setting so I could compare it to the ABIT IT5H, unfortunately this wish was left un-satisfied by the 5TTM. Overall the downsides are canceled out by the great features of the Chaintech 5TTM...

 


IRQ Usage

The usage of IRQs is a very important factor when choosing and configuring any peripheral, including a motherboard. How the motherboard manages and uses IRQs is very important, and often causes conflicts with other peripherals. The 5TTM does not skimp in this area, the AWARD PnP BIOS included with the 5TTM allows the user to enable or disable the usage of IRQ12 for a PS/2 mouse if one is present. Also you can individually set the IRQs for each Legacy ISA card just in case some are present in your system. You have the option of manually setting an IRQ for your Video Card if you desire to do so. The 5TTM is truly a board for the tweaker, it allows you to configure each and every IRQ usage setting to the max. As with most boards, you can select which IRQ your Serial and Parallel Port(s) use which often comes in handy when you have devices such as modems, printers, and serial mice attached to your system. Immediately after POST, the AWARD PnP BIOS detects and configures all PnP cards including PnP ISA cards. The board definitely does a great job of allow you to allocate IRQs in order prevent possible conflicts with other devices.

 


BIOS Settings

Here are my Recommended BIOS Settings for those of you who have been having problems with the 5TTM and higher bus speeds. Below are my recommended settings for bus speeds < 66MHz, and 75MHz. If you are using Non-EDO RAM, then use the settings the in the 2nd (Non - EDO) column, if you are using SDRAM/EDO RAM with a 50/60/66MHz bus speed use the 3rd (66MHz Setting) column. The next column should be used if you are using the 75MHz bus speed, although I should remind you that doing so is quite difficult with this motherboard, so good luck! Finally, if you are looking for the safest and most stable setting, use the last column.

Chaintech 5TTM Chipset Features Setup

Item Non - EDO 66MHz Setting 75MHz Setting Safe Setting
Auto Configuration: Disabled Disabled Disabled Disabled
DRAM Read Burst: 10/6/4 10/6/3 10/6/3 10/6/4
DRAM Write Burst Timing: x333/x444 x222/x333 x222/x333 x222/x333
Fast EDO Lead Off: Disabled Enabled Enabled Disabled
Refresh RAS# Assertion: 4 Clks 4 Clks 4 Clks 4 Clks
Fast RAS To CAS Delay: 3 2 3 3
DRAM Page Idle Timer: 4 2 4 8
DRAM Enhanced Paging: Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Fast MA to RAS# Delay: 2 Clks 1 Clks 2 Clks 2 Clks
SDRAM (CAS Lat/RAS-to-CAS): 3/3 2/2 3/3 3/3
SDRAM Speculative Read: Disabled Enabled Disabled Disabled
System BIOS Cacheable: Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Video BIOS Cacheable: Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
8 Bit I/O Recovery Time: 1 1 1 2
16 Bit I/O Recovery Time: 1 1 1 2
Memory Hole At 15M - 16M: Disabled Disabled Disabled Disabled
PCI Passive Release: Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
PCI Delayed Transaction: Disabled Disabled Disabled Disabled
Flash BIOS Protection: Enabled Enabled Enabled Enabled
Hardware Reset Protect: Disabled Disabled Disabled Disabled

***** INTEL/AMD/CYRIX CPU Setup *****

User's Favorite:

Disabled

Core Voltage (V):

Depends on CPU

Core Bus Frequency:

50 / 55 / 60 / 66 / 75

Frequence Ratio:

1.5x / 2.0x / 2.5x / 3.0x / 3.5x

 

 


Recommended SDRAM

This little addition to my review layout was put in here just so you all can have an idea of what brand of SDRAM I recommend and have tested with the board, just to avoid problems in the future if you decide to purchase the board.

Recommended SDRAM: Advanced Megatrends SDRAM
SDRAM Tested: 2 x 32MB Advanced Megatrends SDRAM DIMMs

Manufacturer: Advanced Megatrends
Purchase Web-Site: http://www.megacom.com

The Test

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