Test Setup

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

In the benchmarking of this system, I tried to stay as close the roots of the other recent motherboard reviews on Amdmb.com as I could. There were of course several places where I chose not do this, but all with good reason.

First, all tests were done with a Visiontek GeForce 3 video card, and not with the supplied on-board ATI Rage XL video. Since most people who are interested in the gaming and graphics benchmarks will be using this board in either their home or in a workstation, it only makes sense to use as powerful a graphics card as possible, and the GeForce 3 is as good as they come right now at the consumer level. I had the option of getting a FireGL card for this test, but I didn’t think it would allocate to a fair comparison with the rest of the reviews.

Tyan Thunder K7 AMD-760 MP Motherboard Review - Motherboards 41

Instead of using the standard 7200 RPM IDE hard drive, I choose instead to take advantage of the on-board SCSI. I chose to use a 18 GB Cheetah 10K RPM hard drive (which was graciously provided by our friends at TC Computers). While this may have increased scores slightly in comparison to using the 7200 RPM hard drive that I used in the previous motherboard tests, I felt that most users who purchase this board would take advantage of the included SCSI chipset.

The processors used on the motherboard were the newly announced 1.2 GHz Athlon MP processors, supplied to me by AMD. Many of you are asking about the compatibility of the Tyan Thunder K7 motherboard with current Thunderbird and Duron CPUs. Though AMD does not support the action, and Tyan has recently declined to officially comment, I can tell you that all of the tests I have done on this board show that all current Socket A processors will work. I used two 1.33 GHz Athlons without a problem, as did I test the board with two 900 MHz Duron processors. These benchmarks are not included, however, at AMD’s request. You can look forward to my investigation on this topic a bit later in the month.

For cooling the processors, a heatsink that was once needed for a 1.33 GHz Athlon Thunderbird is overkill for a non-overclocked Athlon MP. Running at a much lower voltage, I used both the TaiSol Copper Bottom HSFs that were supplied by our friends at Monarch Computer as well as the Foxconn heatsinks that AMD sent to us with the Palomino processors. Both performed more than adequately, which is good news for everyone.

The power supply had to be changed out, of course, as well. I used the Delta DSP465AB-A power supply that was sent by Tyan along with the motherboard. For memory, I used standard Crucial PC2100 DDR SDRAM; a single 256 MB DIMM.

So, here is the amended system setup for the Tyan Thunder K7:

Tyan Thunder (2) 1.2 GHZ Athlon MP Test System Setup
CPU (2) AMD Athlon MP 1.2 GHz (133/266 MHz Bus)
Memory 1 x 256MB Crucial PC2100 DDR SDRAM
Hard Drive 18.6 GB Cheetah Ultra160 SCSI from TC Computers
Video Card Visiontek GeForce 3
Video Drivers Detonator 11.10
Operating System Windows 2000

And here is the setup for the AMD Athlon Thunderbird 1.33 GHz system I am comparing it to:

Athlon Thunderbird 1.33 GHz Test System Setup
CPU AMD Thunderbird 1.33 GHz (133 MHz Bus)
Motherboard Epox 8K7A
Memory 1 x 256MB Corsair PC2100 DDR SDRAM
Hard Drive 20.5GB 7200 RPM Western Digital EIDE
Video Card Visiontek GeForce 3
Video Drivers Detonator 11.10
Operating System Windows 98 SE

Benchmarking this beast was quite a job! I used over 20 different tests on over 20 different software programs, but narrowed it down slightly to present the most interesting information to you. Benchmarks you will see in the following pages are:

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