Most everyone is always looking for a stable system. Some people want more stability, others can sacrifice a little for performance. However, in the server market, stability is really a key issue. The BP6, although very popular, was not really the most stable of motherboards. That's especially true if you overclocked it like most people did. Most serious servers need a more stable platform to ensure smooth operation. Thankfully, it seems the VP6 has not followed in the BP6's footsteps in terms of stability. The board definitely shows that Abit has paid more attention to stability than before. After running the system for a few weeks with the torture test on 24/7 with nary a hiccup or BSoD, it's safe to say that the board is stable at stock speeds. Even using memory modules from different manufacturers is ok. Other motherboards are picky when it comes to that. At overclocked speeds, the stability is amazing. I have been overclocking my FSB to 150 Mhz, and the box has been rock solid. I didn't even need to tweak any voltage settings to keep the system stable. The main test I do to see if a system is stable is to run 4 instances of Prime95, 2 designated to CPU0, and 2 designated to CPU1. That would test for memory errors and what not. I'd also run a Seti@Home client, as well as just do my regular daily activities on the computer. The system has ran almost near perfect except for the occasional crashing of AOL, which I blame on AOL and not the system. So far so good on the 150 MHz FSB, but since it's gotten hotter lately (90-100+ degrees in NYC) and no air conditioning for my system, I'm concerned about heat issues. So running at that high of a bus speed might affect stability more in the days to come. If that does happen then probably running at a slightly slower speed would be best. I'd rather have my system be reliable. The speed increase isn't that big to warrant sacrificing that much stability. Anyway, the system has been running fine with the torture tests in the background and me doing my usual web surfing, music listening, and what not. If you're thinking "If it's so stable then why did your first one die?", well the answer to that is it probably wasn't the VP6. The power supply and Iwill board died as well, so I don't think the VP6 really had much to do with it. My theory still stands with the Delta fans and Iwill board/power supply. Either way, the one I have now is very stable, and the old one was stable before it died.
With the motherboard being priced at around $130, it's a good value for the low cost server. You get a slew of nice features, good performance for the chipset, and stability. The large memory support cater to the server audience. However, the scores still show it to be slower than other chipsets out there. With it's numerous overclocking features, you can quickly see how cost efficient this motherboard can be. Of course, overclocked servers usually aren't used for anything more than hobby work, but hey there are a lot of enthusiasts out there that just can't afford those dual 1GHz PIIIs. You can just pop in two fairly fast chips and overclock them a bit to get more for your money. You can even just pop one processor in and add another later when you feel the need to upgrade. At the moment, if you want dual processor goodness at an affordable price the VP6 won't disappoint. Don't let the lower memory benchmarks get you down. That's the only flaw I see in the board because SDR is definitely not on the cutting edge of technology. However, the dual DDR motherboards or ones with better chipsets out there are more expensive. DDR memory is as cheap as regular SDR, so that isn't really a problem. The bottom line here is that the VP6 delivers everything in the spec, so I definitely think it's worth the $130 or so you spend on it. It's also good for people that have lots of SDRAM and don't want to move to DDR just yet. I would recommend this board for servers at home, or even small businesses for development. Production machines or servers with more demanding requirements might want to check out motherboards with better chipsets and possibly ob-board SCSI/LAN. Integrated LAN would have been a nice addition but it would have raised the price.
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