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Jetway B860T Review
By Mark Gill - Posted on October 12, 2002

The BIOS

The B860T comes with a Phoenix Award BIOS which is nearly identical to that of the EPIA, though there are a couple of differences that are worth pointing out. Firstly, the TV-Out selection (bottom of the photo) consists solely of a NTSC/PAL switch:


Unlike the EPIA, the B860T has full PC Health monitoring. There's a sensor mounted just below the CPU to monitor temperature - not as accurate as on-die devices, but much better than nothing:


A second sensor is mounted next to the BIOS chip to measure system temperature. The board's current state of health is shown on a BIOS screen.


Though the health is shown, there is no capability for setting alarms for excessive temperatures or low fan speeds, as can be found on many other motherboards.

Specifications

Chipset   VIA PLE133T
Memory   2 x SDRAM DIMMs
Onboard VGA
  Yes (hardware DVD decoding)
Onboard LAN   Yes (10/100Mbit)
Onboard sound
  Yes (AC'97 2.1 codec)
USB
  2 onboard (+ 2 optional)
Drive connectors
  1 x floppy, 2 x IDE (ATA100)
Expansion slots
  1 x PCI
Other expansion
  1 x DOC
PC health monitoring   Yes

Conclusion

The B860T is an interesting alternative to the VIA EPIA board, especially due to the aggressive pricing of the Jetway offering. The B860T provides the flexibility and upgradability of a socketed board in a package only fractionally larger than the EPIA, and has the capability to run processors as powerful as those found in full-size desktop PCs. It could find a use in embedded applications due to the Disk-On-Chip socket, and it may well appeal to the case-modding community due to the useful onboard headers. On the other hand, the EPIA has the benefit of convenience, since it is truly an all-in-one solution.

The EPIA is currently the de facto "mini board", and it is unlikely that the Jetway will ever challenge that. However, those that do discover the B860T will find a very powerful little beast that answers many of the questions that the EPIA has been unable to answer.

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