A Rare Find: Dual CPU Boards
In the multitude of single processor motherboards, there is a small number of boards designed for dual CPU operation. These boards are particularly suitable for small graphics workstations or servers requiring high computing capacity and, at the same time, fast data transfers. However, in comparison with the boards for only one CPU, the dual boards are slightly more expensive: While a socket 370 board costs approx. $90 to $110 depending on its equipment configuration, a dual board will cost at least $140. To this you've got to add the cost for a second CPU.
Presently, there are two different chipsets on the market for the socket 370 platform supporting the operation of two processors: These include the Intel 815E and the VIA Apollo Pro 133A - also known as VIA 694XDP. In this context, we have thoroughly examined the Acorp 6A815D, the first dual board to be equipped with the Intel 815E, as well as the Asus CUV4X-D that works with VIA 694XDP. All the tests were conducted under Windows 2000 Pro, since Windows 98 SE and Windows ME do not offer multi-processor support. Let us state right now: This test brought not only exciting but also sobering results - but read for yourself!
Only the special VIA northbridge variant offers dual processor support. While version VT82C694X is only suitable for single operation, version VT82C694XDP offers dual CPU support.
Initially not intended for dual operation: Northbridge by Intel 815E.