Tyan S2380 Trinity K7
It's getting crowded...
It's a bit surprising to see so many Athlon motherboards hit the market so quickly. If you recall the situation in 1999, the number of compelling Athlon motherboards available on the market could be counted on one hand, many would even argue only one solution existed: the ASUS K7M motherboard.
Further aggravating the problem was the sky-high price of Athlon motherboards early on. At launch, Athlon motherboards frequently sold near the $200 mark, only during winter did motherboard prices begin to become competitive with the BX platform.
For 2000, the situation has changed drastically. Not only are Athlon motherboards available from a wide variety of manufacturers, they can also be found at affordable prices.
The manufacturer reviewed here today, Tyan, skipped the 750 chipset in favor of VIA's KX133. This is our first review of a Tyan product here on FiringSquad, but Tyan is by no means a new player in the motherboard market.
Tyan, that almost sounds like a comic book character!
Founded over a decade ago, Tyan's specialty has always been developing high performance solutions for the workstation and server markets. We're not talking your garden-variety dual CPU motherboards either. Tyan has high-end motherboards that support gigabytes of RAM, onboard LAN and SCSI, 64-bit PCI slots, and even one model with dual power connectors!
Back in the days I fondly remember Kenn and Lyle packing their dual Tyan motherboards with Mylex RAID cards, Cheetah hard drives, Voodoo2 SLI, and Pentium II 400 CPU's. Of course, they had a fun time troubleshooting their RAID setup, but once their systems were up and running all problems were forgotten. It's these kinds of customers Tyan has especially catered to.
Of course, in the past this has meant motherboards will little or no overclocking support, but customers in this market don't care for overclocking. These are the people who count on dependability and reliability, performance is still important, but not if it compromises system stability.
Tyan's low-end offerings followed the same philosophy, only recently has Tyan taken a greater interest in providing products for the more hardcore community. Tyan's Trinity 400 is a Slot 1 and Socket 370 motherboard that won numerous awards from both online journalists and traditional print media. Last year a Micron system based on the Trinity 400 won PC Magazine's highly regarded Editor's Choice Award for Dec. 1999.
So what's on tap for 2000 from Tyan? More of the same. Besides the Trinity K7 and the Trinity 400, the company is hard at work on the Tiger 133, a dual Slot 1 motherboard based on the Apollo Pro133A chipset.