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Soyo SYTISU Motherboard Review
Date: Dec 15, 2001
Author: HH Editor
The Soyo SYTISU Motherboard Review - Page 1
Soyo's SY-TISU Motherboard
All Overclockers Welcome

By, Jeff Bouton
August 20, 2001

With the July release of Intel's new Tualatin processor, we are seeing an ever increasing number motherboard manufacturers incorporating support for the new processor into their designs.  And why not?  The PIII Tualatin CPU, based on a 0.13-micron manufacturing process, it capable of running at faster speeds while requiring less power than its predecessors based on a .18-micron process.   Marry those qualities up with the i815EP's B-stepping and you have the makings of a high-performance system, capable of running virtually any of today's most intensive applications.

Today we are spotlighting the first of these "Tualatin"-ready motherboards to be produced by Soyo, the SY-TISU.  Incorporating the features we just mentioned, as well as a few other nice qualities, the SY-TISU looked promising right out of the box.  So without delay, let's move on to the product specs and see what this board brings to the table.

Specifications of the Soyo SY-TISU Motherboard
A Well Rounded System...

66/100/133MHz FSB Socket 370 Based ATX Motherboard

Support Intel FC-PGA 2 Tualatin Processor
Support Intel FC-PGA Pentium III and Celeron Processors

Intel 815EP B-step Chipset
Supports 66/100/133 MHz FSB

Three 168-pin SDRAM DIMM sockets support up to 512MB

Six 32-bit Bus Mastering PCI slots (v2.2 compliant)
One AGP slots (4x mode)
One CNR Connector

On Board Audio Subsystem

AC97 CODEC on board to provide audio solution

Two RS-232 serial ports (16550 UART compatible)
One Parallel printer port (SPP/EPP/ECP mode)
One FDD port (Supports LS120, 3 mode, 1.2/1.44/2.88MB FDD)
Provides IrDA port with optional cable for transceiver
Provides 4 USB ports (2 rear, 2 font)

Two independent channels for four IDE devices
Supports up to PIO mode 5 and Ultra DMA 33/66/100

Four layers, 30.5 cm x 22 cm (12"x8.66")
ATX form factor

Award PCI BIOS with green, ACPI, APM, PnP, DMI functions
Supports multiple-boot from E-IDE/SCSI/CD-ROM/FDD/ZIP
2 Mbit Flash ROM

Built-in I/O chip hardware monitoring functions
On-board voltage monitors for CPU Vcore, Vtt, +12V, 3.3V, Vbat (TBD)
CPU and system fan speed monitor
Precision CPU temperature monitoring through CPU on-die thermal diode

PS/2 Mini-DIN mouse & keyboard ports
Two USB ports
One D-Sub 25-pin female printer port
Two D-Sub 9-pin serial port


Included with the package we received for review, aside from the motherboard itself,  was an Owners Manual, Drivers CD, a floppy cable, and an 80-Pin IDE cable.  Additionally, there was a CD titled "Super 8-in-1 Bonus Pack", which included such titles as Norton Ghost, Norton AntiVirus 2000, and Adobe ActiveShare to name a few.  The one thing that was a bit disappointing for this reviewer was the lack of any USB hardware.  All too often we review quality motherboards that boast additional USB headers, yet the manufacturer does not provide the means to take advantage of this feature.  With some diligence, we could surely locate such hardware, but it seems that this is not always an easy task.  

Let us go on and review the boards construction and some of its finer features...

Quality, Setup, and the BIOS...


The Soyo SYTISU Motherboard Review - Page 2

Soyo's SY-TISU Motherboard
All Overclockers Welcome

By, Jeff Bouton
August 20, 2001

Quality & Setup of the Soyo SY-TISU Motherboard
Nicely Done...
Upon first inspection, the Soyo SY-TISU motherboard reveals some very nice features.  This board has 1 AGP, 1 CNR, and 6 PCI slots, allowing ample room for expansion.  Although the board is fairly well laid out, there are a few items that we wish were re-thought.  For example, notice how the lithium battery is placed so close to the 5th and 6th PCI slots.  In the future when the battery needs replacing, which should be a very simple task, users may be required
to remove a PCI card if the card is longer than the actual slot.  Another common placement issue is the lack of acceptable room between the RAM slots and the AGP slot.  If a user were to upgrade or change their RAM, it is almost certain that the video card would have to be removed in order to release the tabs that secure the RAM in place.  This placement of the AGP slot is very common with many of today's motherboards.  Many reviewers have expressed annoyance by this "problem", yet it seems few manufacturers have shown any interest in changing their manufacturing procedures.

The SY-TISU comes with 3 SDRAM slots that can accept a total of 512MB of RAM, the maximum allowed by the i815 chipset.  Soyo has also opted to add a heatsink to the Northbridge which is always a welcomed sight.  There are a decent amount of capacitors placed around the CPU socket and RAM slots to insure that clean current is provided to these key
components.  Soyo has done a very nice job in positioning these capacitors so they do not intrude on any critical areas.  Notice that we had no difficulty installing our oversized cooler on the CPU.  Using a Global Win FOP38 cooler with 7000RPM fan, the cooler has plenty of additional room around it.  If we felt it necessary to apply an even larger cooler assembly, we're comfortable in thinking that there should be no problems installing it.

This board is designed following the ATX form factor standard, equipped with 2- PS2, 2-USB, 2-Serial, 1LPT port.  Additionally, there are on-board audio and joystick ports that can be easily disabled in the BIOS or by adjusting the DIP Switches on the main board.  Although these DIP Switches may be hidden with the installation of a CNR, we doubt that this will be a major issue.

The SY-TISU provides support for a smart card reader as well as an additional USB header. 

Without a doubt, the folks at Soyo have certainly put together a quality motherboard with several nice touches.  From what we've seen so far, this board is built to last a long time with plenty of room for future expansion.  Let us move on to the BIOS and go over some of the features that tie it all together.





As soon as we looked at the BIOS, one thing became very clear...this board is geared towards the overclocker.  We clicked on the first item in the BIOS titled the "Soyo Combo Feature" and found a nice selection of settings designed to allow us to push this system way beyond spec.  The FSB can be adjusted in 1MHz. increments up to a whopping 255MHz.!  (Not that you would go anywhere near that high). 


The BIOS also allows for CPU voltage adjustments in .025V increments up to a maximum of 1.825V.  This is extremely helpful in maximizing a processor's overclocking potential.  The board also comes with a hardware monitor capable of viewing critical voltages and temperatures.  While testing out an overclock, a safety can be set to shutdown the machine if the CPU temperature increases beyond the specified setting.  This will certainly be helpful in protecting your CPU from becoming a keychain.


Now that we've covered some of the more important features of the BIOS, let us move on to the test bench and see how the SOYO SY-TISU performs.


The H.H. Test System, The Stones, and a Dash of Overclocking

The Soyo SYTISU Motherboard Review - Page 3

Soyo's SY-TISU Motherboard
All Overclockers Welcome

By, Jeff Bouton
August 20, 2001

Sandra 2001 te
Bring it on.

Below lists the system performance of the SY-TISU at a default 1.2GHz. and overclocked at 1.47GHz.











We found the CPU and Multimedia performance of the SY-TISU with the Tualatin processor to be on par with an AMD Athlon of the same speed.  Once we kicked the bus speed up to 163MHz., the CPU and Multimedia performance surged past all other CPU's on the chart.  The memory benchmarks were pretty respectable as well, encroaching into DDR territory at 163MHz. FSB.


Now we'll move up to the graphics-based benchmarks and see what this board is capable of...


Quake 3 Arena & 3DMark 2001
No Review Would Be Complete Without It...


We ran our next string of tests to see how the system performed with several of today's more popular benchmark utilities.  Our first choice is the veteran OpenGL benchmark, Quake 3 (demo001) at 640x480x16.



Running at a the default bus speed, the SY-TISU based system hit the CPU limit at 195FPS.  Kicking the FSB up to 163MHz., we were able to eke out an additional 6 FPS.  Let's see how our test system handles DirectX8 with MadOnion's 3DMark 2001...



Running the SY-TISU at a default FSB of 133MHz., our test system put out a very nice score of 5256, about 42 points less than the Intel baseline.  Once we tweaked the FSB to 163MHz., the score jumped to an impressive score of 6245!  That is a performance gain of over 18.8%.

Overall, our experience with the Soyo SY-TISU motherboard was nothing short of excellent.  This being the first of Soyo's motherboards to incorporate the Intel "Tualatin" Pentium III processor, we found its performance nothing short of superb.  When it comes to overclocking, this motherboard comes equipped with the necessary tools to get the job done with stability to boot.  Everything about this motherboard says quality, with excellent features and solid performance.  Anyone running a PIII looking to upgrade to a high-quality, overclockable motherboard, look no further.  The Soyo SY-TISU is an excellent choice for the casual user as well as the enthusiast looking for that board with a little extra.

For exceptional quality, features, performance, and stability, we give the Soyo SY-TISU motherboard a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of a...

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The Soyo SYTISU Motherboard Review - Page 4
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