PCChips M571 Motherboard (a.k.a. TXPRO II)
This board is a "PCChips M571" and is distributed by many resellers
under many different names. It is a TXPRO 2 motherboard that goes up
to 83 MHz on the FSB with its SiS chipset. It's not PC100-compliant
but it will run some faster Cyrix MII chips that run at that weird 83
MHz speed. It features four PCI slots, three ISA slots, and supports
both SIMM and DIMM memory. Some resellers will sell you an ATX Form
Card which brings two USB connectors, a PS/2 mouse port, and a
mini-DIN IRDA connector to the back panel.
There is onboard PCI video (SiS 5597/5598 chipset) that uses up to
four megabytes of main memory for the frame buffer. That is more than
enough memory for most bottomfeeder users and like other integrated
systems you can do a little math to save yourself a few megabytes of
Some descriptions of this motherboard I have seen in catalogs and on
the internet describe a PCI audio device on the motherboard when it is
actually an ISA device. The sound chip is labelled "Soundpro HT1869V+
HRTF 3D Audio EAX36 9852 PCI" chipset. In reality, this chip is a
relabelled C-Media CM8330/C3D chipset that has 3D HRTF and software
wavetable support. The chip itself actually has "PCI" silk-screened
onto it which is the probable cause of all the misadvertising.
Computer Parts Only and Tiger Software do the right thing and do
not claim it is a PCI audio device but I have seen other
resellers making this claim. If you think you need a bottomfeeder
system with PCI audio then this board probably doesn't have what you
I have had no luck disabling the sound system to make way for a PCI
audio card. In addition, like another motherboard that has the
integrated CM8330 sound system, I could not disable the Windows Sound
System in the BIOS. That means I am wasting a total of three IRQ's
for MPU-401 (MIDI), SB16, and WSS. Apparently, the old WSS was
resurrected to be used as a clever trick to support full-duplex sound
for internet phone software. Most cheap sound cards and chipsets are
only single duplex which means you can't use internet phone software
or certain interactive voice software packages. This chipset achieves
full duplex by using the SB16 for playback and the WSS for recording.
Unfortunately, they seem to have forgotten to allow us to disabled the
WSS because it steals a very precious, high-IRQ ISA interrupt away
from the rest of the system which could be better used for your SCSI
card, ethernet card, and so on.
The revision number of this board is next to the keyboard connector.
Mine is a v 7.0 which comes from CP Only. With the advent of the
Super7 platform this board has fallen out of favor. As a result, it
is being sold at substantially low prices at most retailers. It is
sold under very many different names at many resellers but you should
be able to identify it by the "TXPRO II" on the large yellow/orange
BGA heatsink and by the BIOS and sound chips located just under the
bottom ISA slot.
Comments and Experiences
If you decide to get this board, make sure you're happy with the sound
system. In my experience so far, the BIOS does not appear to be able
to fully disable the sound system. I have not been able to get a
rather generic PCI sound card to work with this system. Other people
have told me they have been able to use PCI sound cards only after a
clean Windows 98 installation. I am still puzzling with the sound
system and hope to present an update on it soon.
The board has more than enough expansion slots for upgraders. If you
have lots of legacy hardware this is definitely the board for you. On
the downside, it fits a little too snugly in a mid-tower chassis being
26 cm long. The onboard sound system, described above, takes entirely
too many IRQ's that you cannot return to your system and for some
reason I can't easily replace it with a PCI sound card that can share
its IRQ's. Like other Taiwanese boards the CMOS battery does obstruct
some full-size PCI cards. Some day every motherboard manufacturer
will take the hint that batteries, IC's, jumpers, and wire pins should
be as far away from the card slots as possible.
PCChips M571 information and drivers: http://www.pcchips.com/m571.html
Computer Parts Only: http://cponly.com/
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