Soyo's P4I Fire Dragon & P4S Dragon Ultra P4 i845D and

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Soyo's P4I Fire Dragon & P4S Dragon Ultra P4 i845D and SiS645 Boards - Page 1

Soyo's P4I Fire Dragon & P4S Dragon Ultra
SiS 645 and i845D Compete - Soyo Style

By, Dave Altavilla
February 18, 2002

 
The motherboard engineers at Soyo, until recently, had been a little quiet in terms of releasing new, innovative products to the market for the Pentium 4 platform.  It almost seemed as if Soyo was sitting out on the side lines as the Pentium 4 was introduced, only driving new designs in the Socket A market.  Not that Soyo actually avoided the new Intel platform all together.  However, boards were not released based on the i850 chipset or the Socket 423.  Now, with the advent of DDR support for the Pentium 4 and with chipsets such as VIA's P4X266A, the SiS645 and the recently released Intel i845D, Soyo has come to life with motherboards targeted for the enthusiast with a plethora of highly integrated features.

The following is a HotHardware review and analysis of the P4S Dragon Ultra, a SiS645 based board and the P4I Fire Dragon, an Intel i845D based motherboard, both from the good folks at Soyo Computer.

Soyo's P4S Dragon Ultra and P4I Fire Dragon
DDR Based Pentium 4 Offerings with all the bells and whistles

Soyo P4S Dragon Ultra


CPU

Supports Intel Pentium 4 Socket 478 processor 400MHz System Data Bus

Chipset
SIS 645/961 chipset

Memory
3 DIMM slots for up to 3GB of PC2700/PC2100/PC1600 DDR SDRAM support

Audio
C-Media CMI8738 6-channel audio (optional)
S/PDIF-in/out interface (optional)

Multi I/O
2 channels of BUS Master IDE Port support Ultra DMA 33/66/100

Miscellaneous
AGP 4X slot
4 USB 1.1 ports
6 PCI slots / 1 CNR slot


Integrated Networking

Intel 10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN controller (optional)

Ultra DMA 133/RAID
High Point HPT372 IDE Controller
Ultra DMA 133MB/sec data transfer rate
RAID 0/1/0+1

Soyo P4I Fire Dragon

 

CPU
Supports Intel Pentium 4 socket 478 processors
400MHz System Data Bus

Chipset
Intel i845D and ICH2 chipset

Memory
2 DIMM slots for up to 2GB of PC2100/PC1600 DDR SDRAM support

Miscellaneous
AGP 4X slot
4 USB 1.1 ports
6 PCI slots / 1 CNR slot
Provides 2 IEEE1394 ports

Multi I/O
2 channels of BUS Master IDE Port support Ultra DMA 33/66/100

Audio
C-Media CMI8738 6-channel audio (optional)
S/PDIF-in/out interface (optional)

Integrated Networking
Intel 10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN controller (optional)

Ultra DMA 133/RAID
High Point HPT372 IDE Controller
Ultra DMA 133MB/sec data transfer rate
RAID 0/1/0+1


Talk about feature set, these boards are packed to the gills with all the toys and Soyo also took things a step further by bundling in really nice add-ons like the SPDIF Output Header for full 6 Channel Audio for use with the C-MEDIA on board sound chip, that comes standard with both of these boards.  In addition, Soyo packs in their "Mighty Bolt" 3.5/5'25 Drive Bay Break Out Boxes that, for the P4S Dragon Ultra support four USB ports (2 USB 2.0 Ports with mail in coupon for a USB 2.0 adapter card) and for the P4I Fire Dragon, support two USB ports, a Smart Card Reader (for user authentication functionality), and one of the Fire Wire ports. 

Also, both boards have an integrated 10/100 Ethernet Port on the main I/O Block at the back of the board.  We should note that both of these 10/100 ports functioned very well in testing across our lab's local LAN tapped into a Cable Data line.  Performance of these Ethernet ports easily rivals the best PCI card performance from the likes of Intel or 3Com. 

A Closer Look At The Soyo P4S Dragon Ultra
SiS645 DDR333 Chipset For The Pentium 4
(click images for full view)

   

   

 

Then there are the integrated Highpoint Controllers.  These are driven by the second generation Highpoint 372 chips that support ATA133 and ATA133 RAID 0, 1 and 0+1.  You just can't beat the kind of integration Soyo brings to the table with both of these boards.

Let's take a closer look at the P4I Fire Dragon, Soyo's Intel i845D offering.


Soyo P4I Fire Dragon Closer, BIOS Settings and Setup

Tags:  Fire, dragon, Ultra, P4, 4S, ULT, AG, 4i, and

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