Chaintech has supplied me with a small taste of their products ranging from a Jumperless Socket-7 TX board to a reliable Pentium II board based on the 440FX. Two weeks before Intel officially announced the 440LX chipset Chaintech contacted me announcing that they would be manufacturing a 440LX based motherboard featuring jumperless setup as well as support for the 66, 68, 75, and 83MHz bus speeds. After receiving it, the 6LTM, my second LX based Pentium II board, I took a completely new opinion of Chaintech. They are no longer just a small European manufacturer, they are now in direct competition with some of the biggest names in the industry...


Motherboard Specifications

Socket Style: Slot-1
Chipset: i82440LX
Cache: N/A (On Chip)
Form Factor: ATX
BUS Speeds: 60 / 66 / 68 / 75 / 83 MHz
Clock Multipliers: 3.5x / 4.0x / 4.5x / 5.0x / 5.5x
Voltages Supported: 1.5v - 3.5v (Auto Detect)
RAM Slots: 3 168pin DIMM Slots (EDO/SDRAM)
AGP/PCI/ISA Slots: 1 AGP Slot
4 PCI Slots
3 ISA Slots (1 Shared / 3 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


Above we see the wonderful green
heatsink Chaintech placed on the
LX chipset as a cause of the many
heat problems being reported.
The Chaintech 6LTM, being the second LX board to enter my testing lab did provide me with a few unexpected surprises. The one that stood out the most was the physical LX chipset on the 6LTM. As soon as the LX chipset was released, rumors began surfacing about the heat produced by the large 386 sized LX chip, in some cases the rumors held true. In order to avoid any possible problems Chaintech equipped the 6LTM with a nice green heatsink much like that found on the SiS 5571 chipset, except larger of course. Like the previous two Chaintech boards I tested, the 6LTM features a patented Jumperless CPU Configuration Utility known as SeePU. This configuration utility has 4 built in settings for the Pentium II - 233, Pentium II - 266, Pentium II - 300, and Pentium II - 330, however if none of those factory defaults please you, you have the option of choosing the User's Define setting in which you choose your clock multiplier and bus speed from a provided list, much like ABIT's SoftMenu technology. The familiar AWARD PnP BIOS Setup of the 6LTM also adds to its value, it had no problem with my aggressive memory timings and I never had the feeling that too much power was being stripped from me by a lackluster setup utility.

Expansion with the 6LTM is a little better than some other LX boards that have been popping up, but still not as good as I would like it to be. The 6LTM still features the meager 3 DIMM Slots, however the 3 ISA slots and 4 PCI slots (+1 AGP slot) make the future of the 6LTM a little brighter, especially if you plan to use more than just 2 ISA cards like most people.

The 6LTM's strengths don't come from its expansion capabilities, however they come from its performance and stability. The stability of the 6LTM is about on par with the Megatrends FX83-A, and in some cases, better! I can run my Pentium II 266 up to 338MHz (75 x 4.5) without any problems, although getting the entire system to function at that speed is a bit tricky. At all normal and overclocked CPU speeds the 6LTM outperformed both the FX83-A and the FIC KL-6011 by a minimum of 1 winstone point!   After re-running the tests with a genuine Intel Pentium II - 300, the 6LTM proved to be one of the most stable LX motherboards ever reviewed on Anand's Hardware Tech Page.   The 6LTM is stable enough, if cooled properly, at 375MHz to produce some extraordinary Winstone scores (see below).  The video performance of the 6LTM still can't keep up with the amazing standards instilled in me by the FX83-A, but they come pretty close, which is overshadowed by the excellent real-world performance of the 6LTM.

Here's the tricky part...is the Chaintech 6LTM too good to be true?

The Bad

...is the Chaintech 6LTM too good to be true? Absolutely, not!  The only problem I experienced with the 6LTM, has to do with expansion. The 6LTM, like the FIC KL-6011 only features 3 DIMM slots which is still a huge disappointment for me. For a Pentium II system I expect at least 4 DIMM slots, and 6 DIMM slots if possible. You can never have too much RAM...

 


IRQ Usage

  • Allows user to enable/disable VGA IRQ

  • Allows user to individually assign IRQs to PCI/Legacy ISA devices

  • Autodetects PnP Peripherals after POST

 


BIOS Settings

Here are my Recommended BIOS Settings for those of you who have been having problems with the 6LTM and higher bus speeds. I personally have had no problems with the 6LTM and higher bus speeds related to memory timings, therefore I have provided two columns of settings. One for use with 66, 75, and 83MHz bus speeds and the other for the failsafe settings.

Chaintech 6LTM Chipset Features Setup

Item 66/75/83 MHz Setting Safe Setting
Auto Configuration: Disabled Disabled
MA Wait State: Fast Slow
EDO RAS# To CAS# Delay: 2 3
EDO RAS# Precharge Time: 3 4
EDO DRAM Read Burst: x222 x333
EDO DRAM Write Burst: x222 x333
DRAM Integrity Mode: Non-ECC Non-ECC
CPU-To-PCI IDE Posting: Enabled Enabled
DRAM Read Around Write: Enabled Enabled
Burst Write Combining: Enabled Disabled
PCI-To-DRAM Pipeline: Enabled Disabled
System BIOS Cacheable: Enabled Disabled
Video BIOS Cacheable: Enabled Disabled
Video RAM Cacheable: Enabled Disabled
Memory Hole At 15M - 16M: Disabled Disabled
Passive Release: Enabled Enabled
Delayed Transaction: Disabled Disabled
AGP Aperture Size (MB): 64 64
SDRAM RAS-to-CAS Delay: Fast Slow
SDRAM RAS Precharge Time: Fast Slow
SDRAM CAS Latency Time: 2 3
Flash BIOS Protection: Enabled Enabled
Hardware Reset Protect: Disabled Disabled

 

The Test

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