I've had a Tyan Thunder K7 (S2462UNG) in my main box for a year now. Overall, it's a good, stable motherboard, if a bit pricey compared to more recent 760MP/760MPX boards.
I'd like to expand on and clarify the specs. First, this board comes in three versions:
This is the most basic of the three. Its only integrated components are video and 2 NICs
This is the mid-level version. It adds an Ultra160 SCSI controller to the S2462NG.
This is the most expensive version. It adds hardware remote management capabilities (configurable in BIOS) to the S2462UNG.
- Dual socket 462 (It officially accepts AthlonMPs only, but modification to other Athlons (including Thunderbirds) is rumored to permit their use.)
- AMD 760MP/762 northbridge
- AMD 766 southbridge (the one with broken USB)
- 4x 25°-angled PC1600/PC2100 DDR DIMM slots
Note: requires registered memory. The angling is so that the board will fit in a 1U rackmount case.
- 1x AGP Pro AGP 4x slot
- 5x 64bit/33MHz PCI slots
- integrated ATI Rage Pro PCI graphics w/4MB memory
Note: it is assumed that this comes from main memory, slashing effective memory bandwidth when used.
Update: After examining my board, it is clear that dedicated memory is soldered onto the motherboard near the video chip.
- 2x integrated 3Com EtherLink Server 10/100 PCI (3C980C-TXM) NICs
- 8x fan headers
Each is rated at 1.2A, meaning they can all support those Delta screaming banshees or Vantec Tornados, but only 6 of the headers can be monitored from Tyan System Monitor 1.00-2.07 (last known release).
- Claims to require a WTX power supply, which has a 24-pin primary connector, and an 8-pin secondary connector. This appears to be primarily pin-compatible with ATX 2.04, but needs the 8 additional pins that standard lacks.
Update: After checking the pinouts again, it looks closest to EPS12V, but differs enough that it requires a proprietary connector. Some EPS12V PSUs come with an adapter to work with this board, but not all.
- It also has all the usual ATX motherboard stuff: 1x parallel, 2x serial, 4x USB, PS/2 keyboard & mouse, floppy, and 2x UATA 100.
- OPTIONAL: integrated dual-channel Adaptec Ultra160 SCSI controller
- OPTIONAL: remote management chip
There are a couple additional things of note. First, all the integrated devices and the five PCI slots are on the same PCI bus, meaning it's a total bandwidth of 266MB/s. To those of you used to consumer/enthusiast-level motherboards, this is nothing new, but to those of you who know more about ServerWorks than Via or SiS, this may be surprising. Second, the power supply issue is not as big as it was when these boards first came out. The 460W figure corresponds to the wattages of the first two power supplies certified by Tyan and AMD for use with this board, one from Delta and the other from NMB. This is actually a (relatively) arbitrary wattage, as I have since seen power supplies on the approved list with higher or lower wattages (I'm currently using an Antec 510W unit, for example). Third, any memory used must be registered. The board does support the use of EC/ECC, but is not required (Most registered memory is ECC-capable).
The board has proved quite stable with one significant exception. It refuses to coexist with my Palm m500 docking cradle. When connected to the integrated USB, it would crash nearly every time I hotsynced. This is where my suspicions about the 766's USB grew from, which I later saw confirmed in the enthusiast community. Even when connecting it to a USB 2.0 card, I would get crashes 1/3-1/4 of the time. The Palm cradle doesn't crash my Dell laptop, however, so that's its new residence.
Update: I moved my printer back to the motherboard USB connectors, but I've also switched to XP Pro from Windows 2000 since I put the USB2.0 card in, so it was likely as not a software/driver issue.
This board is very stable aside from the palm hotsync issue, with system uptime limited only by my own tendency to fiddle, and the necessity of playing Windows Whack-a-hole.
The only significant downsides of this board (aside from the 766 USB issues) are its price and complete lack of tweaking features. Being a Tyan board, it has no FSB (well, 100 or 133MHz), multiplier, or voltage adjustments. The DRAM timings are not customizable either.
The only reasons I would not recommend this board now are its price and the fact that newer boards with the fixed USB support of the 760MPX chipset are available at the same price point or lower.
Node your hardware.