Everything seems to finally come together this week, we got a reply from Tyan about our problems
with the Tyan Thunder K7. Brandon at Tyan actually offered to troubleshoot the motherboard with us and we’ve sent him all the info he requested and also asked whether he could provide us with a new motherboard as we think ours is indeed defective. I'm still waiting for a reply and am hoping he'll be able to discuss some of the problems on the phone.
One thing that puzzled me though is the fact that he mentioned he has already read our news posting about the Thunder K7 yet failed to respond to it. I had to send an email to tech support a couple of times in order to get a response from them. That, to me, is rather odd, if I were Tyan I’d have jumped on this and made sure any issues and problems were properly addressed.
But I’m not the type to sit still and wait for things to happen so I contacted Tyan’s office in Germany and I’ve actually just gotten off the phone with Ruben and we discussed some of the issues and he sent us the latest BIOS version, v2.06.01, which is newer than the v2.06 we’ve been using sofar. He also mentioned, and that caught me by surprise, that the Crucial
Registered DDR memory we’re using isn’t on the hardware compatibility list. Does anybody else have any problems with Crucial’s Registered DDR on the Thunder K7? If so, we’d sure like to know about it so we can zero-in on any memory compatibility issues, if any.
Fig 1. 2 x 256Mb of Crucial's PC2100 Registered DDR SDRAM.
What else? We were hoping to get some parts from IBM, but it looks like we’ll be buying these parts instead of having them shipped for evaluation. We’ve actually just bought two 60Gb 60GXP DeskStar drives for an upcoming article and we’re hoping that the other parts we require will be shipped by IBM. Oh, and for those of you that sent me emails about the identity of the processors in the previous column, those are not Tualatins, but rather Mobile Pentium IIIs in the Micro-PGA2 package and will feature in an upcoming article.
Fig 2. The AMD 766 southbridge that'll now also feature on MSI's 760 MP motherboard.
Also we weren’t really surprised to find out that MSI won’t be using the Via 686B southbridge on their 760MP dual AMP motherboard, we frankly think that’s a wise decision on their part as the 686B is notorious for its compatibility issues, something you’d certainly not want on a workstation/server motherboard where stability is key. Kudos to MSI for doing the right thing and going with the more expensive AMD southbridge instead, we can’t wait top get our hands on the finished product.