RSS Feed

HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [03.14.00]
Manufactured by: Tyan


Dammit, is this thing BACKWARDS?

Ugh, let's get into the dark side of this board: the design.  Tyan decided to put the ATX power connector behind the DIMM slots.  That is not good.  Neither is the fact that the IDE connecters are UPSIDE DOWN! Yes, you'll have to twist and turn your IDE cables to get them in, and if you're working in a confined case, you ARE going to have a hard time.  I don't know if the Tyan engineers are playing a trick on me or what, but the IDE cable that came packages with the board was also backwards! The pin 1 (red stripe) was on the OPPOSITE side of the connector of most IDE cables.  This is just plain weird... I'll take some pics later...

The Manual

The manual was well written, and easy to follow for the most part.  I did get confused when connecting the various LEDs from my case to the standardized power connectors on the board... The way they explain the wire connections is on par with the IDE cable and connecters; just plain confusing.  They go into small detail on all the various BIOS settings, but a lot is lost in the translation from Taiwanese.  It should be enough for any Hardcore fan though...

Speaking of fans, there are four 3-pin fan connecters on board.  This is nice, but the Tyan 1854 lacks hardware monitoring of any sort! You won't be able to check out your CPU temp or fan speed on the fly.  I personally can do without this, but apparently, some people HAVE to have it.  If you HAVE to know whether your CPU is at 40 or 42 degrees, you'll have to buy a thermometer or something...

In conclusion, I LOVE this board, and I would recommend it to anyone building a PC, whether they are using a Celeron chip, or overclocking a Coppermine.  It is just so damn stable, it has MANY features, and the negatives just don't out number the positives, as you'll see here:

  • Rock Solid, like most Apollo Pro 133a boards
  • TONS of options to play with in the BIOS
  • "True" 133 MHz support with a 1/2 AGP divider
  • Integrated ATA/66 support that really works
  • AGP 4x, Fast Writes
  • Ability to use PC100 DIMM with a 133 MHz FSB
  • 6 PCI slots and 1 ISA, just in case
  • Awesome price, compared to even a 440 BX Board
  • Ability to set the CPU IOQ setting
  • Choice of Slot 1 or PGA on one board

  • REALLY weird IDE connectors and ATX connector placement
  • RAM is still slightly slower than a BX board
  • No hardware monitoring
  • Might have problems overclocking
  • Can't overclock to 133 MHz bus using FCPGA connector

Final Score: 91%