Soyo's P4X400 DRAGON Ultra Platinum - HotHardware

Soyo's P4X400 DRAGON Ultra Platinum

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The Soyo P4X400 DRAGON Ultra Platinum Edition
VIA's Rogue Chipset Has Arrived!

By, Marco Chiappetta
October 31, 2002

Tonight on HotHardware.Com we're going to take a look at a motherboard from Soyo that is powered by VIA's controversial P4X400 DDR chipset for the Pentium 4.  If you've been on top of the hardware scene, you may know that Intel and VIA have been locked in a heated battle over the legality of VIA's P4X series of chipsets.  Intel alleges that VIA does not hold the necessary licenses to produce chipsets for the P4, while VIA claims they obtained the licenses in their acquisition of S3.  Regardless of who is "right", the ongoing litigation between these two companies has turned many of the large motherboard manufactures away from the P4X chipsets.  Soyo, however, is not one of them.

With the P4X400 DRAGON Ultra Platinum Edition, Soyo has a very compelling motherboard in their Socket 478 lineup, that should appease feature hungry OEMs, and hardcore enthusiasts alike.  This board offers AGP8X, DDR333 and DDR400 memory support (at least according to Soyo), jumper-less configuration and a host of overclocking options.  On paper, the the P4X400 DRAGON Ultra is a clear winner, but as you all know, paper specs mean absolutely nothing if the product doesn't work as advertised.  What do you say we get this motherboard on the test bench and see how she performs? 

Specifications / Features of The Soyo P4X400 DRAGON Ultra Platinum
The Silver Surfer...

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SPECIFICATIONS TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM SOYOUSA.COM

Processor

  • Click here for a complete list of maximum processor speed supported

Chipset Type

  • VIA P4X400

Chipset Description

  • VIA P4X400/8235 chipset

  • Supports 533/400 MHz FSB

Memory Type

  • DDR400* SDRAM

Memory Description

  • Three DDR400/333/266 2.5V DIMM sockets support up to 3 GB

  • 184-pin PC3200/PC2700/PC2100 non-ECC, unbuffered DDR SDRAM memory

Expansion Slots

  • Five 32-bit Bus Mastering PCI slots (V2.2 compliant)

  • One AGP Pro slot (support 8X/4X mode with 1.5v)

IDE Description

  • Four independent channels for eight IDE devices (two for IDE-RAID)

  • Supports up to PIO Mode 5 and UDMA 66/100/133

  • Two PCI bus mastering ATA E-IDE ports

Audio Description

  • On board CMI 8738 audio chip to provide 6-channel hardware audio solution

  • Supports optical and coaxial SPDIF outputs for crisp digital sound

IO Port Description

  • Two RS-232 serial ports (16550 UART compatible)

  • One parallel printer port (SPP/EPP/ECP mode)

  • One FDD port (Supports 3 modes, 1.2/1.44/2.88 MB FDD

  • Provides IrDA/FIR ports with optional cable for transceiver

  • Provides 6 USB 2.0 ports (2*rear, 4*pin header)

IO Connection Description

  • PS/2 Mini-DIN mouse & keyboard ports

  • Two USB ports

  • 0ne RJ45 connector

  • Two D-Sub 9-pin male serial ports

  • One D-Sub 25-pin female printer port

  • Audio I/O: LINE-Outx1 , LINE-Inx1, MIC JACK x1

  • One game port

BIOS Description

  • Award PCI BIOS with ACPI function

  • Supports multiple-boot from E-IDE/SCSI/CD-ROM/FDD/LS120/ZIP

  • 2 Mbyte Flash ROM

Health Monitoring Description

  • On-board voltage monitors for DIMM, AGP, +3.3V, +12V, and VCORE

  • CPU fan speed monitor

  • CPU temperature monitoring through flexible thermal sensor

Dimension Description

  • Four layers, 30.5 cm x 24.5 cm (12" x 9.6")

  • ATX form factor

Certification

  • FCC Class B and CE EMI Regulation Compliant

Compatibilities

  • WinXP

  • Win2000

  • WinNT

  • WinME

  • Win98SE

  • Linux

  • FreeBSD

Warranty

  • All SOYO products are designed to offer stability and flexibility, and are tested to ensure highest reliability. We offer a 1 year limited warranty on this SOYO product.

Features

  • Adjustable CPU FSB, core voltage & multiplier via BIOS setup

  • Adjustable DIMM voltage

  • Adjustable AGP Pro voltage

  • Advanced Management Capabilities: Software power off control, Power-on by keyboard, Power-on by Alarm, Modem Ring On

  • Supports ATX12V power supply only

  • Supports on-board Hardware Monitoring and includes Hardware Health Utility to streamline your PC management

  • Supports WOL (Wake On LAN) function to simplify network management

  • Suspend To RAM, Suspend To Disk

Bonus Inside

  • Bonus SPDIF Audio Connector

  • Bonus Sigma Box (SB-P4SX) featuring 4 front USB 2.0 ports

  • Bonus 8-in-1 CD including Norton Anti-Virus 2002, Ghost 2002, Adobe ActiveShare, Acrobat Reader, Acrobat eBook Reader, WinDVD 2000, and trials/samples of AutoSave and Imagemore

  • Three (3) BONUS ATA-133 IDE cables


THE BUNDLE:

      

The Soyo P4X400 DRAGON Ultra Platinum had one of the most, if not the most, impressive accessory bundles we have ever seen in the HotHardware labs.  Included with the P4X400 DRAGON Ultra, we found three 80-Wire UDMA/133 capable IDE cables and a single floppy cable.  A very complete User's Manual was also included, along with a Driver CD and another CD containing 8 other software packages.  The "8-in-1" CD had such programs as Norton Ghost and Anti-Virus 2002, Adobe ActiveShare, Acrobat Reader, Acrobat eBook Reader and a full version of WinDVD 2000.

The P4X400 DRAGON Ultra Platinum also shipped with an audio header that has SPDIF (Digital Audio) In and Out jacks and an I/O plate to accommodate all of the externally accessible connectors.  Lastly, Soyo has included something they call the "Sigma Box".  The Sigma Box mounts in either a 3.5" or 5"25" drive bay, giving users easy access to four front mounted USB 2.0 connectors.

The BIOS, Layout and Quality 

 
 

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