Leadtek Winfast 8200BX Dual Pentium Motherboard

Add Your Comments

Update 5/10/99:

Just an update, The Leadtek 8200BX board has been running without a hiccup since last week with Dual PII 400’s Clocked at 450. The Server has been getting alot of use too as this is where the Classified Ads are running here on Overclockers. I also did a Huge (850 MB) SQL Server update for a client which pegged the both processors at about 80% for a couple of hours and the board displayed no abnormalities at all. Rick (See his comments below) also notified me that the Tekram P6B40D-A5 board is the exact same board and he flashed his Bios with the Bios update for that board and it cleared up the Temp header problems and also allowed him to run a dual Celeron configuration with no problems. Seems that all Leadtek needs to have a winner on their hands is a Bios upgrade for this board.

Update 5/5/99:

Rick (see his comments on this board at the end of the article) brought something to my attention. The Temp Headers on the Mobo DO NOT work as I said in my artcle. What I did was just hook 2 Thermsistors and let them dangle in the open case. They gave me a reading of 93F and the system temp was 95F so I _assumed_ (I’ll never do that again) things were ok. Upon his email today, I unplugged them and the temp did not change. I also put an ice cube on them with no change in temp. This is another thing Leadtek needs to fix on this board. Thanks Rick!


Let me say that this is not a benchmark review. It’s a BX Chipset Mobo and they all run real close to the same. Also, at the end of this article is a message I received by one of our visitors, I promised him I would post his observations too. The reason I looked forward to reviewing this board is that I’m personally in the market to buy a low end dual Mobo for my NT Webserver. The Pentium pro just isn’t cuttin’ the mustard anymore.

I received the Mobo from PCNUT this past Friday. Saturday morning I was up early to remove the P Pro FX Chipset board and install this bad boy in my NT server that serves me well running IIS, SQL Server, Cold Fusion Server and a few other apps for months at a time without a reboot. It also serves as a Proxy Server, DHCP Server and Domain controller for my 7 PC LAN here at home. This is not my primary Web or Mail server, I run those services on a Linux Box.

Upon opening the box, the board was pretty impressive. 5 PCI Slots, 2 ISA and 1 AGP. 4 DIMM slots for a total of 1 GB Memory. This board does not have on board SCSI so it had 2 IDE connectors. It even had the familiar green heatsink on the BX Chipset with no heatsink compound under it. The board also has Hardware monitoring via an LM78 (According to MBM 4.02) and has 2 headers located near the processors for Thermistors that seem to work just fine with Motherboard Monitor 4.02. For actual specs and a picture of the board, you can go HERE. For a board with a street price of around $160-$170 I was pretty impressed.

The board is has a pretty small footprint for a Dual board (About the same size as a BX6R2) and fit well in my ahem….. Gateway ATX case I use for my server. The board is a Jumper design but also has bios settings for Default(auto detect), 66, 68, 75, 83, 100, 103, 112, and 133 FSB settings. I decided I would first fire it up with a single Celeron 300A and see if it would run it at 450. I used a Slot 1 Celeron I have that will run 450 at 1.9 Volts all day long since this board has no provision for voltage tweaking. I installed a 128 Meg Viking CAS2 ECC DIMM and set the FSB for 100 and booted it up. It immediately locked while loading NT Server. I then put a single PII 400 in and it booted and loaded NT just fine.

I taped the pins on the C300A for 2.2 volts and tried that and it would boot and load NT but lock up constantly. I was running a Global Win FAB 28 cooler and the case was wide open so I know it wasn’t an overheat problem. So, back to the PII 400. I put in a pair of them with VEK 12’s installed, the bios detected both processors just fine and loaded right into NT.

About 2 hours into running, I got the dreaded “Blue screen of death”. Rebooted the machine and about an hour later, same blue screen. I setup NT to automatically reboot on a crash and from Saturday around Noon until Sunday around Noon, the machine rebooted itself due to crashes about 16 times. I removed one of the processors and re-installed NT with the same results. Later in the day, I removed the Viking ECC Dimm and installed 2 Generic 32 Meg PC66 Dimms (Yes, only 64 meg ram on NT server with all that running…) re-installed the second PII 400 and the machine ran fine all the way through last evening. I upped the FSB to 112 and it’s been running fine since. I also tried the Viking DIMM in my BX6R2 with a PII 333 running at 560 and it works just fine.

Today, I received 2 MSI Dual processor modified Slockets (On loan) and tried 2 PPGA 300’s @ 450 that run 495 (4.5×110) in my BM6 just fine at 2.0 Volts and it wouldn’t even boot into Windows NT. It would run NT just fine at 300 and 337 but no higher.

Conclusion:

Would I buy this board???? Well, I’m in the market for a very inexpensive board that will run 2 PII 400’s at stock speed. I would like to try an Asus P2B D or a Tyan Tiger 100 first but only because of the Memory issue. Is it a board issue or the particular Dimm I have? I can’t answer that, all I know is the Dimm works fine in my BX6R2 and I used this Dimm in my BH6 too. Maybe I have a bad board, but this is the board I reviewed. If I was going to use this board to overclock Celerons, No I wouldn’t buy it. It just doesn’t seem stable enough for me. It’s really a shame because this is a very nice board with nice features for the price. It’s well built and well laid out. I would like to get a Non-ECC 128 Meg Dimm to try in the board and if it will run stable, I would buy it. I’ll run this board a few more days and add an addendum to this review then.

Skip….

This from a visitor to the site:

I bought A Winfast 8200BX dual Motherboard last March for a dual Celeron project.

Pros: Least expensive (including shipping to Canada) dual mobo available at the time – $350 bucks total. Only the ASUS P2BD was available locally which would have cost around $500. Leadtek’s service was very personalized when I called for a new bios chip; mine was not programmed properly but their Taiwan site had a bad BIOS file and had ignored the warnings from the Award BIOS. Leadtek graciously sent me a free bios chip if I would cover the shipping charge. The board works generally well with all my components, with some exceptions, and was easy to get going at non-overclocked speeds.

Cons: First, the two temperature headers for CPU temperatures are not programmed into the BIOS! I have two thermistors plugged in waiting for Leadtek to get their act together. If you look at the TekRam dual mobo, which looks very similar, they have the headers active in the BIOS. I have contacted Leadtek a second time by e-mail and they have ignored my pleas.

Second, this board is extremely picky when overclocking Celerons. The two slot 1 300a’s I bought were stable at 2.0 & 2.1 volts in my friends BH6 with my memory sticks. In the Leadtek mobo, only one works at 450 at 2.2 v and the other will crash at 450 at any voltage setting. Also when modifying the voltages by taping the appropriate pins, the core voltage readout for the second CPU gives false readings of less than 2.0 v but indeed is being properly fed the voltage selected, since removing the tape for 2.2 v will cause the CPU to not boot at all at when set to 450 in the second slot.

Third, SoftMenu is very unstable if you are using it to select 100mhz. I had to jumper the 100mhz speed and run at the BIOS Default Settings to successfully run Win98 or NT 4.0.

And last, I had to get another Slot1 300a CPU to replace the one this board rejected. My friend, out of kindness for my plight, was willing to trade his 300a which runs 450 at 2.0 v for my CPU, which ran fine on his board at 2.1 v. I am still waiting for him to fix it at his shop for dual operation. I cannot tell you if my system will ever work at 2 x 450 MHz; 2 x 375MHz was stable in NT but that was not why I had invested 750 bucks.

After all this trouble I now wish I just bought the ASUS P2BD from my local supplier.

Rick Jamieson
Montreal, Canada

 
This review and comments are just my personal observations and
opinion. As with any products and services, please research throughly
before making any purchases. The reviewer and overclockers.com shall not
and will not be held liable for any damages cause by products reviewed in
this article.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *