Soyo's SYK7VTA KT133 Motherboard - HotHardware

Soyo's SYK7VTA KT133 Motherboard

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Soyo's SY-K7VTA - KT133 Motherboard
AMD Socket A Technology From Soyo, Solid As A Rock

By, Dave "Davo" Altavilla
10 / 25 / 2000

 
Motherboard offerings are really beginning to get overwhelming.  Why is this you ask?  Well, for starters Intel finally has true competition with AMD firmly perched in the heart of its mainstream PC product offering.  With a well rounded and entirely new platform now entrenched in the market place, there are easily 2X the number of motherboard flavors available from any given manufacturer.  Not to mention the fact that VIA has proven itself to be a formidable opponent to Intel in the chipset market, offering solutions for both CPU platforms.

As a result, the testers at Hot Hardware have their hands full with new products to test.  What a wonderful problem to have.  This is a look at the AMD side of the fence.  Soyo, long known for its high quality Intel based motherboard offering, has recently released a long awaited VIA Apollo KT133 based motherboard.  Sporting AGP4X and ATA66, the SY-K7VTA has been eagerly anticipated as a Socket A solution from a manufacturer known for catering to the high end.  Let's see if it hits this mark.

Specifications / Features Of The Soyo SY-K7VTA
Standard issue VIA based product but where's that #6  PCI Slot?

  • 200MHz System Interface Speed AMD Socket-A Based VIA KT133 ATX Motherboard
  • Processor
    Single Socket-A for AMD Socket-A type Processor
    Including Duron and Thunderbird
  • Chipset
    VIA KT133 and 686A chipset
  • System Memory
    Three 168-pin SDRAM 3.3V DIMM sockets support up to 1.5GB
  • PC100/PC133 SDRAM support
    Provides ECC (Error Checking Correction) capability
  • Expansion Slots
    Five 32-bit Bus Mastering PCI slots (V2.2 compliant)
    One 16-bit ISA slots (one shared ISA/PCI slot)
    One AGP slot (v1.0 compliant, AGP 1X/2X/4X)
  • On Board Audio Subsystem
    AC97 CODEC on board to provide audio solution
  • On Board Ultra I/O Chip
    Two RS-232 serial ports (16550 UART compatible)
    One parallel printer port (SPP/EPP/ECP mode)
    One FDD port (Supports LS120, 3 mode, 1.2/1.44/2.88 MB FDD
  • Provides IrDA port with optional cable for transceiver

 

 

  • Ultra DMA 33 & 66 IDE Ports
    Two independent channels for four IDE devices
    Supports up to PIO Mode 4 and UDMA/66
    Two PCI bus mastering ATA E-IDE ports
  • Boot-Block Flash BIOS
    Award PCI BIOS with ACPI function
    Supports multiple-boot from E-IDE/ SCSI/ CD-ROM/ FDD/ LS120/ ZIP
  • 2 Mbit Flash ROM
  • Board Dimensions
    Four layers, 30.5 cm x 23 cm(12" x 9.05")
    ATX form factor
  • Enhanced PC Health Monitoring
    On-board voltage monitors for +5V, +12V, VCORE, VTT and VBAT status
    System health status detect
    System temperature sensor
    CPU temperature monitoring through flexible thermal sensor under processor heatsink
  • Double Stack Back-Panel I/O Connectors
    PS/2 Mini-DIN mouse & keyboard ports
    Two USB ports
    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



Let's run down the short list.  AGP4X, ATA66, PC133 Memory Support, On Board AC97 Audio and PC Health Monitoring are all standard fare for the VIA KT133 chipset.  Soyo pretty much went by the book with this board.  It does offer a comprehensive CPU Setup in the BIOS which provides for some ability to over-clock.  We'll take a look at this shortly.  However, beyond that there is not a lot that makes this board stand out.  There is no ability to set the CPU multiplier as we have seen on a select few boards available currently. 

Finally, Soyo decided to configure the SY-K7VTA in a 5 PCI / 1 ISA setup.  6 PCI slots would have been preferred and it is quickly becoming the norm with most recent generations of chipsets supporting this configuration.

 

Soyo does a very nice job however, of providing excellent filtering and signal conditioning with its abundance capacitors and chokes (the round torroidal magnets with copper wire windings on them, you see in the above shots ) around the CPU socket and other areas of the board.  This board should prove to be very stable as a result.  We'll provide more detail in the following pages in that regard.

The BIOS is sort of the "heart" of any motherboard giving you critical control over the performance and setup of a given system.  Let's look at what Soyo brought to the KT133 party in this area.

 

 Installation and Setup

 

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