I've been promising this review for a while now, and it is finally complete! Many people have asked me what I recommend for the best motherboard based on the Intel 430TX Chipset, sure I could say that ABIT's AX5 is the best...however it is plagued by problems with its SoftMenu features. The Chaintech 5TTM is also a great motherboard, however its instability at the 75MHz bus speed and its lack of an 83.3MHz setting take it out of the running. In my opinion, overall, the best Socket-7 motherboard based on the TX Chipset is definitely the Shuttle HOT 565 (or HOT 567 which is the ATX version of the 565). Let's find out why...


Motherboard Specifications

Socket Style: Socket 7
Chipset: i82430TX
Cache: 512KB
Form Factor: AT
BUS Speeds: 50 / 55 / 60 / 66 / 75 / 83 MHz
Clock Multipliers: 1.5x / 2.0x / 2.5x / 3.0x / 3.5x / 4.0x*
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
3 ISA Slots (1 Shared / 1 Full Length)
BIOS: AWARD PnP BIOS
PCI EIDE Controller: Super I/O
2 EIDE Channels
1 FDD Channel
2 Serial /1 EPP

* Only available for the AMD K6-PR2/266

 


The Good

I've been closely watching this motherboard for some time now, and I finally received one for testing...I'm very glad I did! To me, the Shuttle HOT-565 has the perfect combination of qualities you would want in a motherboard. It features the basic 4 PCI / 3 ISA / 1 Shared expansion slot configuration, as well as 4 SIMM and 2 DIMM slots, however that's were the line of similarity ends between the HOT-565 and other average boards. The setup and configuration of the 565 is very integrated with this particular motherboard for a few reasons. The main reason the 565 excels in the configuration field is because of its superb jumper setting insert included with the motherboard, in addition to the easy to access jumpers with the most innovative feature I have seen implemented with jumper caps...long handles! Yes, the jumper caps bundled with the 565 have small extensions on the ends of them which allow you to more easily grasp the jumpers, perfect for switching settings between power-ons, and excellent for testing!!! The entire motherboard manual is located on a CDROM included with motherboard, yep, that means that there is no written documentation aside from the convenient insert which in my opinion is more than enough! The stability of the 565 is superb, it runs perfectly and flawlessly at 75 and 83.3MHz bus speeds, crashing at 66MHz bus speeds is basically unheard of with this board, just make sure you use some good SDRAM (see my Recommended SDRAM section below). The 565 also has a very useful setting, especially when using the AMD K6 which requires a tad bit more voltage than a Pentium MMX or 6x86MX (all three of which the 565 officially supports), by uncapping a simple jumper the HOT565 enables the user to increase the CPU core voltage by 2.5%. That came in handy when overclocking the AMD K6 to 208MHz without increasing the core voltage to 3.2v, a great feature in my opinion. Speaking of the AMD K6, the 565 is the only board I've run into that officially supports the upcoming AMD K6-PR2/266 with its 4.0x clock multiplier! Performance wise, the HOT-565 is one of the highest performing TX boards I've tested, and its overall speed is among the best I've benchmarked. However, as I've mentioned before you shouldn't base your decision entirely on the Winstone scores even though they are very good. You should consider the price and features of this board before considering the performance numbers, in any case the HOT-565 is an excellent TX board...

The Bad

The only downside to this board is a limitation provided to us by our friends at Intel with the i430TX Chipset, the limitation of 64MB of cacheable memory should be the only reason not to go with this motherboard. This is a very small downside for most users, however it can pose problems for those of you looking to run Windows NT4 with over 64MB of RAM. On the bright side though, the performance hit when using above 64MB of RAM is only about 10 - 20%.

 


IRQ Usage

  • Allows user to individually set IRQs for each Legacy ISA card

  • Allows user to reserve IRQ/DMA Channels if necessary

  • Auto-detects PnP Cards after HDD Detection

 


BIOS Settings

Here are my Recommended BIOS Settings for those of you who have been having problems with the HOT-565 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 75/83MHz bus speeds and EDO/SDRAM. Finally, if you are looking for the safest and most stable setting, use the last column.

Shuttle HOT-565 Chipset Features Setup

Item Non - EDO 66MHz Setting 75/83MHz Setting Safe Setting
Auto Configuration: Disabled Disabled Disabled Disabled
DRAM Leadoff Timing: 10/6/4 10/6/3 10/6/3 10/6/4
DRAM Read Burst (EDO/FP): x333/x444 x222/x333 x222/x333 x222/x333
DRAM Write Burst Timing: x333 x222 x222 x222
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 2.1 Compliance: Enabled Enabled Enabled Disabled

 

 


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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