by Anand Lal Shimpi on January 9, 1998 4:39 PM EST
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 97 / Business Graphics Winmark 97 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

  • Business Winstone 98 / Business Graphics Winmark 98 was run on the Pentium MMX at 233MHz, and the AMD K6 at 233MHz, the averaging rules for these tests are the same as those used for the 97 test suites. 

  • Business Winstone 98 was run on the Pentium II at 300MHz alone.

  • 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

  • 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): Intel Pentium II - 300 (512K ECC)
Board Revision: 1
RAM: 1 x 64MB Corsair Microsystems PC100 SDRAM DIMMs
1 x 64MB Advanced Megatrends SDRAM DIMMs
Hard Drive(s): Western Digital Caviar AC21600H
Video Card: Matrox Millennium II (4MB WRAM - AGP)
Matrox Millennium II (4MB WRAM - PCI)
Bus Master EIDE Drivers: Intel 3.01
Video Card Drivers: MGA Millennium
OS: Windows 95 Service Release 2


Windows 95 Performance of the TMC AI6NL
CPU Business Winstone 97 Business Graphics Winmark 98
PCI Video AGP Video PCI Video AGP Video
Pentium II - 300 66.1 67.2 147 151
Pentium II - 338 Not Supported
Pentium II - 375 Not Supported


The Final Decision

The AT form factor Pentium II LX motherboard market is scarce right now, making the only competitors those that dominate the land, until another manufacturer steps up with a highly overclockable Pentium II LX (AT) motherboard the TMC AI6NL seems to be the best choice, there is always the MTech M628 as well.

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