The Test

In recent times, choosing a motherboard cannot be completely determined by a Winstone score. Now, many boards come within one Winstone point of each other and therefore the need to benchmark boards against each other falls. Therefore you shouldn't base your decision entirely on the benchmarks you see here, but also on the technical features and advantages of this particular board, seeing as that will probably make the greatest difference in your overall experience.

How I Tested

  • Each benchmark was run a minimum of 2 times and a maximum of 5 times, if the motherboard failed to complete a single test within the 5 allocated test runs the OS/Software was re-installed on a freshly formatted Hard Drive and the BIOS settings were adjusted to prevent the test from failing again. All such encounters were noted at the exact time of their occurrence.

  • Business Winstone 98 was run at each individually tested clock speed, if reliable scores were achieved with the first two test runs of the suite an average of the two was taken and recorded as the final score at that clock speed. If the test system displayed erratic behavior while the tests were running or the results were incredibly low/high the tests were re-run up to 5 times and an average of all the test runs was taken and recorded at the final score at that clock speed

  • After each motherboard was tested a complete format of the test hard drive was initiated and the OS/benchmarking software was re-installed afterwards a defragment was initiated using Windows 95's Disk Defragmentation Utility

  • Tests using AGP Video cards were run under Winstone 97 and Winstone 98

  • No foreign drivers were present in the test system other than those required for the system to function to the best of its ability

  • All foreign installation files were moved to a separate partition during the test as to prevent them from effecting the test results

  • All tests were conducted at 800 x 600 x 256 colors

Test Configuration

Processor(s): Pentium II Celeron - 266 OEM
Pentium II - 300 Retail
Pentium II - 400 OEM
RAM: 1 - 64MB Corsair PC100 SDRAM DIMM
1 - 64MB Memory Man PC100 SDRAM DIMM
Hard Drive(s): Western Digital Caviar AC21600H
Video Card(s): Matrox Millennium II (4MB WRAM - AGP)
Bus Master Drivers: Intel v3.01
Video Drivers: MGA Millennium
Operation System(s): Windows 95 Service Release 2.1

Ziff Davis Winstone - Windows 95 Performance

Business Winstone 98 Business Winstone 97
Intel Pentium II - 300 (100 x 3.0) --- 65.6
Intel Pentium II Deschutes - 350 (100 x 3.5) 23.2 69.0
Intel Pentium II Deschutes - 400 (100 x 4.0) 24.8 73.1
Intel Pentium II Deschutes - 448 (112 x 4.0) 25.7 76.4
Intel Pentium II Celeron - 266 (66 x 4.0) 16.9 52.5
Intel Pentium II Celeron - 300 (75 x 4.0) 18.3 55.6
Intel Pentium II Celeron - 333 (83 x 4.0) --- 58.7

--- Not Run

The Final Decision

If you want the security of an expandable motherboard, with the power and performance of a BX monster, then the Soyo SY-6BA is probably the choice for you. While it isn't the best out there, it definitely leaves a good impression on those who use it. It does come off as being the best BX board AnandTech has tested equipped with 5 PCI slots however.

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