Much has been said about the BP6 in SMP recently,
and i've had the opportunity to try out and test some of the rumours out there,
and write the results down onto a single webpage.
Note: this webpage is not meant for the technically impaired among us.
Recently I stumbled across this link that discussed the possibility of running 2 P3's on a BP 6 rev. 1.1 Since my current workhorse (a pair of C366@533) is having more and more trouble with the heavy load that I tend to give it on a everyday base, i looked for a SMP-upgrade path. Since the real-life experiences that i've had with VIA where not very on the bright side, and I discovered that this website had a program that can increase the bandwith of the BX with another 25% and spank every VIApro out there, I considered myself in a no-go situation for the VP6, and bought myself a pair of NEO's and two P3's @ 700 Mhz (SL45Y ; cB0 stepping)
The good news is that w2k does run in ACPI/MPS-single mode, and i've been able to configure and work with it at reasonable speeds (770Mhz; 110MhzFSB). I must add that the cpu's are running better the longer I burn them in, so it might be that with the right combination of cooling, bios-flashes and software a 24% overclockers-margin (889Mhz) might be obtainable on the BP6 or any other BX fot that matter.
The bad news is that SMP-ACPI gives a blue screen in w2k that says : "Hardware failure, contact you manufacturer", and running w2k with a SMP-MPS kernel results in a lockup when the system is about to go into the graphical login-prompt.
Hardware Limitations of a "powerleaped" BP6
In this section I want to give some info about the maximum attainable FSB-speeds in single and SMP configurations that i've ran with P3's and the "powerleaped" BP6. As you might know, these P3's need a 100MhzFSB to run at 100%
POST : 110 Mhz FSB
Windows98 : 110 Mhz FSB *stable* 1.7v
W2k : 110 Mhz FSB *stable* 1.7v
note: it seems that the longer the P3 runs in this configuration, the better it starts to perform : increasingly higher FSB's are attainable
POST : 80 Mhz FSB
W2k : Crash with SMP kernel
It seems that P3's on a BP6 are only going to be stable on a single configuration, the stability (mouse/keyboard lockups) is still an issue when the other socket isn't properly terminated. Also the 'greenie' will need extra cooling from a 486-fan, I almost burned up my BP when I ran it at a 110Mhz FSB. The greenie must have been almost 60C at that time.
If you want to get some extra speed out of your venerable BP6 say bye,
bye to SMP and get yourself a P3 or C2 and a NEO-S370
And don't use the thermal tape issued by Poweleap, it just stops too much heat from going into the heatsink; just use some thermal paste.
Update: I decided to upload the divx-movie of my activities here