BoardRunner is a new comer to the mainboard
industry. They were established back in 1997. While not coupled with the same
experience and budget as some other mainboard corporations, BoardRunner at
this moment seems to be closely working with Shuttle Corporation to produce
their products. Their 6VA694XC uses the normal VT82C596B south-bridge, so
no special features are present as in the Azza 694TX motherboard that features
the richer VT82C686A chip featuring onboard PC-97 audio and a four port USB
The 6VA694XC features 3DIMM slots, supporting up to 256Mbytes each. The Front
side bus speeds can be controled via Jumpers or directly via the BIOS setup,
this one too offers similar bus functions as the AZZA 694TX.
As you may already saw, the positioning of the HDD connector ports is
very comfortable, as they are out of the way of all components. This board
features two 40-pin IDE connectors marked as IDE1 and IDE2. Each connector
supports two IDE devices. This is not quite the case with the FDD connector
as it is located above the ATX power connector, which is situated below the
CPU socket. Pretty tight space there.
Its expansion is good, offering five PCI slots and two ISA slots (one shared).
I personally would want to see this board with six PCI slots. Implanting the
second ISA slot was not really a strategic move as I am sure that the majority
of users don't have more than one ISA device. I couldnít think of anything
else than a ISA modem. I'm sure most users have moved away from ISA sound
cards long ago.
The 6VA694XC ended up being an interesting board. Its great benchmark results
have put it in the superior 133A category. In most scenes, the board was leading
the Tyan Trinity 400 at an average of 1Ė2%. In the Sandra 2000 memory tests,
it performed quite well as it ended in second place after the Tyan Trinity
400. No stability issues were noticed and the board managed to perform well
under 133MHz FSB.
BoardRunner includes two data cables, one ATA/66
ribbon cable and a Floppy ribbon cable. A well-detailed userís guide is packed
with the board. It covers some installation processes, jumper settings and
an overview of the BIOS setup. BoardRunner also included a CD including a
PDF. Userís guide, the VIA 4 IN 1 Drivers (4.22) and the Award flashing utility.