Sono International 1008S - HotHardware

Sono International 1008S

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Sono International's 1008S

Newcomers to the PC Motherboard arena? Not really!

 
When Sono contacted me about reviewing their new Slot 1 Motherboard, I have to admit I was a little in the dark. At first I thought... Sono? Who? Then I received the eval unit. I was pleasantly surprised. This board seemed to be designed well. I also liked the fact that I got on board audio AND 4 PCI Slots. Sono has been in this business for over 9 years now. They are definitely not new to the scene.

As you can see in the above shot, the layout is clean. and straight forward. One area of note was that the board we were sent only had two DIMM sockets populated and an obvious host location on the board for another socket. The above pic has three sockets and I believe the full release version will come with three installed. At any rate, here is what this board is packing.
     

PB1008s Specification Sheet
Full ATX Form Factor - 30.5 cm X 18 cm

Processor
Slot 1 for Intel Pentium III Processor (233Mhz - 900Mhz)
Slot 1 for Intel Pentium II Processor (233Mhz - 900Mhz)
Slot 1 for Intel Celeron Processor (233Mhz - 900Mhz)

Cache
512K Level 2 processor cache (CPU dependent)

Chipset
Intel 100Mhz 82443BX AGP set with PIIX4E south bridge

System Clock Speeds
66/75/83/100/112/133/150 Mhz

Expansion Slots
1 x 32-bit AGP Slot
4 x 32-bit PCI Slots PCI 2.1 Compliant
3 x 16-bit ISA Slots

System Memory
3 x 168-pin Sockets support 8MB to 768MB
Utilizes 8/16/32/64/128/256MB 168-pin DIMM 3.3V SDRAM
PC100 Compliant SDRAM interface
Supports ECC configuration
Supports memory auto detection

Onboard I/O
1 x Floppy Port (Japan Floppy Mode, Mode 3)
2 x Serial Ports (16550 Fast UART Compatible)
2 x Universal Serial Bus (USB) Ports
1 x Parallel Port (EPP, ECP) Port
1 x Optional IrDA TX/RX Header
2 Dual IDE Ports
1 x PS/2 Keyboard Port
1 x PS/2 Mouse Port


3D PnP Sound Chip On Board with SpeakerOut/Input/Microphone
Game Port Connector
ATX Double Decker Form Factor
Onboard 3D Surround PnP Sound Feature
Supports Windows 3.1 / 95/ 98 / NT and OS/2 Warp 3.0
Sound Blaster 16/Pro Compatible with stereo voice up to 48Khz sampling
Digital audio SPDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) input/output for Dolby AC3 (Digital Dolby)

Output
HRTF 3D Positional Audio
Full duplex recording and playback
3D surround sound
Dual Channel Game Port
Supports Microsoft Direct Sound 3D, DirectX 5/6.x and Aureal 3D

Onboard PCI IDE
Dual UltraDMA/33 IDE Ports Support > 8.4GB HDD, ATAPI

AGP Slot
Accelerated Graphics Port Slot Supported
AGP 66/133Mhz (Sideband) 3.3V Device

ATX Power Connector
3V, 5V and 12V 20-pin ATX Power Connector, Soft Power Support

BIOS
2M-bit Flash EPROM
Award/AMI BIOS
PnP Bios
ACPI, AGP, DMI, Energy Green
Enhanced ACPI Features for PC98
Power On: Password/Hotkey/Mouse
Wake Up: Alarm/Ring-on/Keyboard Function
LAN Wake Up Onboard

Other Features
Onboard Creative SB-link Header
USB Ports
Optional Hardware Monitoring Function
Supports 2.88MB, IoMega Zip-100M and IDE LS-120 FDD
BIOS setting bootable from FDD, HDD, CD-ROM, SCSI, NetWork, LS210 or ZIP
Supports fan status, Monitor Alarm, Temperature Monitor, and Alert
Voltage monitor alert
System resources alert
Virus Write alert
Optional Intel LANDESK Client Manager (LDCM) software
3 fan power connectors onboard for CPU, AGP, and Chassis

 
This is your standard fare for a Slot 1 board these days with a couple of exceptions. First there is the AMI BIOS... "AMI"? You are asking... Yes, I too was surprised to see this as AMI seems to have all but disappeared from the arena in favor of Award. I'll no sooner write this when one of you will email me saying that AMI is all over the place... :-) In any event, it was a surprise to me. It also worked well and was as full featured as any Award BIOS I have seen lately. It even includes a keyboard power on function.

Second is the on board 3D PNP Sound Chip which is a CMI388 chipset. It supports A3D1 3D Positional Audio. We tested this out with the game "Half Life" which supports A3D and it did not disappoint. Granted, A3D2.0 is out now with cards like the Diamond Monster Sound MX300 but A3D1 is nothing to scoff at. In addition, it is basically for free with this motherboard. Personally, I think A3D2 and future generations of 3D sound are beginning to reach a point of diminishing returns anyway. With two speakers (a configuration most users have) you can only synthesize the effect so much. Don't get me wrong. It still sounds amazing. I just feel that there are better places to invest your money once you reach a certain level. This board provides a very capable feature set in the sound department.
     

 


Our Test System

Full Tower ATX Case w/ 300W PS, Pentium3 -450 Overclocked to 504, Sono 1008S Motherboard, 64MB of PC100 CAS2 RAM, IBM Deskstar 10GXP 10GB 7200 RPM EIDE UDMA Hard Drive, 3dfx Voodoo 3-3000 16MB AGP Video Card, Toshiba SDM1202 3rd. Gen. 4.8X DVD/32X CDROM, Win 98, DirectX 6.1

 


Overclocking

This board is hard configured via jumper banks for Front Side Bus Clock and CPU Multipliers. We would have preferred to be able to configure frequencies in the BIOS but at least the jumper banks are in fairly easy to reach areas of the board once it is installed in your case. Another draw back for the "overclocker" is the relatively limited bus speed options. In days gone by, we would have thought that 66, 75, 83, 100, 112, 133, and 150MHz. options were enough and for some they are. However more and more we see common frequencies of 103 and 124. The newest boards come with 105 and 110 as well. However, this board was very stable at 504 MHz. with our Pentium !!! 450 CPU. Enough talk, let's rock...

     

Benchmarks

WinTune 98

Offline Test Results

 

CPU

(1) Intel Pentium III with MMX@504 MHz

Video Board

Voodoo3

Video Mode

1024X768@16bits/pixel

RAM

64 MB

OS

Windows 98 4.10.1998

Area Tested

Value

CPU Integer

1507.18 MIPS

CPU Floating Point

613.7032 MFLOPS

Video(2D)

110.19717 MPixels/s

Direct3D

111.8165 MPixels/s

OpenGL

70.10445 MPixels/s

Memory

928.4966 MB/s

Cached Disk

96.55611 MB/s

Uncached Disk

2.92601 MB/s

     
These numbers are right where they should be for a P3@504 MHz. We then fired up Winbench 99 to get a more detailed perspective.
     

 

Winbench 99 Results @ 1024X768, 16bit Color

Sono 1008S

WinBench 99/Business Disk WinMark 99 (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

1503

WinBench 99/Business Graphics WinMark 99

223

WinBench 99/CPUmark32

1242

WinBench 99/Disk Playback/Bus:Overall (Thousand Bytes/Sec)

2010

WinBench 99/FPU WinMark

2588

     
This board performed really well in all cases. We were pleased with its stability while overlocked and the excellent CPU/FPU numbers prove this out.  

Overall Impression

The 1008S is a solid effort from Sono in every respect. For the hard core overclocker, this board doesn't offer the most flexibility in it class but remains stable under the added stress. For the average end user this board offers a nice complement of features and expandability. Just make sure you get the model with 3 DIMM slots as in the picture at the top of our review. Also, make sure you are comfortable working with jumpers when setting up the CPU. This board is good choice for entry level and intermediate systems.

 

The Sono 1008S! Gets a Hot Hardware Temp-O-Meter Rating of....

78

 

-Davo
 

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