815-series mobos: Still worthwhile?

— 10:12 AM on May 8, 2001

Ronald pointed out to me this review from Tom's Hardware late last night. The review covers Intel 815 chipset-based motherboards from AOpen, Asus, and Azza. Each company has tried to diversify their already feature-rich boards by adding the ability to purchase add-ons that unlock dormant features. In the case of Asus and AOpen, they've even gone that extra step to make the boards aesthetically pleasing.

I have a fair amount of experience with the 815 series chipsets. In particular, I have often worked with some of the best offerings from Asus, Abit, and Intel. While I do recommend 815-series boards to those who seek stability over performance, I have to be candid about the life span of these boards. It appears that most will not have Tuatalin support. Even if they do, the Tuatalin line is not going to be very long-lived. These boards are just a bad, bad buy at the moment.

Furthermore, the add-on features presented in the review—in particular the Asus iPanel—are not limited to Asus's Intel line of boards only. So the real highlight of the review is not the add-ons, but the aesthetic option of getting a pink or solid black and gold motherboard.

I'm sure it doesn't need to be said, but I will say it anyway: this platform is not worth looking at unless you have simply reached the point that minimum tweaking and configuration along side maximum stability, compatibility, and acceptable (as opposed to top) performance is clearly your calling. That, or you have burned by Via five times or so like I have.

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