Motherboards

  When we look at the Small Form Factor platform's relative size and shape, it is easy to see why these systems are becoming extremely popular as dedicated living room or home theater PC's. With the gradual adoption of Media Center PC's in the home, Shuttle is now trying harder than ever to ensure that those systems are small yet robust SFF systems. With the release of the new SD36G5M, Shuttle has brought to market a potent system which supports Windows Media Center and conforms to Intel's VIIV platform. Although packaged in the familiar "G" style chassis, the... Read more...
Over the last couple of years, we've evaluated quite a number of socket 939 motherboards for AMD Athlon 64 processors. The vast majority of these motherboards were based on NVIDIA's very popular nForce 3/4 chipsets, although a smattering were based on chipsets from SiS or VIA as well. In November of last year though, ATI also chimed in with a reference board based on their Radeon Xpress 200 chipset. In our initial coverage of that motherboard, we found it to be a worthy competitor to the nForce in the performance and overclocking departments, but thought the nForce 4 still had an edge in features... Read more...
When we last checked in with Shuttle back in April, we took a look at their current entry for the Intel platform, which was based on the latest chipset at the time, the i925XE.  Our introduction for that piece went something along the lines of how the SFF market typically lags behind the full-sized board market, but how Shuttle was right on the cutting edge.  Well, it's been no more than 12 weeks since we wrote that article, and Shuttle is right back in the mix with the SD31P.  The SD31P utilizes the "P" chassis, so visually speaking it should look the same on the outside... Read more...
  Once the dominant player for chipsets compatible with AMD's Athlon, VIA has fallen out of favor lately, it seems. The company introduced its K8T890 chipset with PCI Express support way back in November of last year. Yet, we've heard very little about retail products centering on the platform until recently. The PT-series, destined for an epic battle against Intel's Pentium 4 chipset family, is still missing in action, with NVIDIA's competing core logic approaching at breakneck speed. And then there's the VT8251 south bridge, an integral component in the grand scheme of things responsible... Read more...
With the release of each new processor platform comes the inevitable wait for "enthusiast-class" motherboards to support them.  We've seen the same scenario play out time and again.  When Intel released its Socket 478 Pentium 4 processors, for example, it was a few months before tricked-out motherboards, with a full complement of overclocking tools, made it into the channel.  The same scenario will play out for Intel's Socket T, as it has already for AMD's Socket 939 platform. Sure, some decent motherboards hit the streets immediately, but they almost always have some kinks... Read more...
  While the AMD Athlon XP still remains popular, it is no longer the sought after enthusiast part it once was. This isn't because the Athlon XP is a poor performer, but rather it's because a new era of AMD processors are now in the limelight.  Regardless, there are still plenty of reasons to consider a system based on the Athlon XP processor, with the most logical being affordability.  Building or buying such a computer, will not put a big dent in your wallet and it will provide more than ample performance for most of today's software titles. Apparently VIA was thinking along those... Read more...
  Soyo's SY-CK8 Dragon Plus Motherboard A New Enthusiast Board for the Athlon 64 By: Jeff Bouton January 29, 2004 If all goes as planned for AMD, 2004 will be the year of the Athlon 64.  They gave us a taste of their new product line in the last quarter of 2003, with a limited supply of Athlon 64 and Opteron processors hitting store shelves.  The performance of their new line was impressive, although limited supplies resulted in high retail costs, keeping some users from make the change.  Once 2004 hit, AMD started moving forward... Read more...
  Intoducing the SiS655FX Chipset An Overview of Functionality and Performance By: Jeff Bouton October 2, 2003 By now you all know the drill, Intel or AMD release a new chipset for their processor platform and the other third party manufacturers, like VIA, NVIDIA, ALi, and SiS, are soon to follow.  This time around we are talking about the latest release from Silicon Integrated Systems, with their SiS655FX chipset.  Their latest incarnation is a potent package, challenging the Intel 865/875 family chipsets in an effort to offer some competition in both price points and features. ... Read more...
SOYO Mini DRAGON 651 A New Pentium 4 Small Form Factor PC In The Crowd By: Chris Angelini July 28th, 2003 SFF PCs are all the rage it seems and we're as much a fan of small form-factor systems as any, here at HotHardware.  My personal desktop system tucks away neatly under my desk.  I've also got a PC-based PVR system that could easily pass for an amplifier in a home theater rack.  I've spent quite a bit of time miniaturizing my tech appliances, and I don't mind dedicating time and money to make sure a job is finished correctly.  Therefore, I was particularly interested in SOYO's... Read more...
  Soltek SL-75MRN-L Motherboard Soltek takes a crack at Nforce2 By, Tom Laverriere April 20, 2003 Motherboard - check, graphics card - check, sound card - check, ethernet card - check...  Oh sorry, you caught me making a list of hardware one would need for a new system and that doesn't even cover the half of it.  If you're building a new system from scratch, the list can get pretty long and expensive.  Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to shorten that list and take some of the crunch off your wallet?  What could possibly shorten that list?  You need everything... Read more...
Soyo SY-KT400 Dragon Ultra vs. Shuttle AK37GTR Showdown at the KT400 Corral! By, Robert Maloney November 6th, 2002 As another season comes upon us and another new chipset from VIA technologies is released into the market.  It seems like only yesterday (OK, January) that we were building our latest powerhouses based on the KT266A chipset.  Then along came the KT333, but it brought only a minor performance improvement.  Originally touted as having DDR400 as well as AGP 8x support, the KT400 was much anticipated as the next best thing since sliced bread, for the Athlon.  Early... Read more...
The SiS 648 Chipset Debuts A Comprehensive Look at a Pre-Production Shuttle AS45GT/R By, Marco Chiappetta August 12, 2002    In early 2002 Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. (SiS) released their 645 chipset.  Initially, many analysts were skeptical that SiS could deliver a high-performing DDR chipset for the Pentium 4.  They were all quickly proven wrong though, as time and again the SiS645 performed at, or near, the top of the pack in review after review.  Looking to build upon the relative success of the 645, SiS took the wraps off of their latest chipset for the Pentium... Read more...
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... Read more...
  The Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra Motherboard Review The Best That Soyo Has To Offer! By, Jeff Bouton June 23, 2002 Since the KT333 chipset was first released, we've seen a steady improvement in what Athlon-based motherboards have to offer.  With the new USB 2.0 and ATA133 standards, as well as 333MHz DDR PC2700 DRAM support, system boards have gotten a much welcomed boost in overall performance and features.  Today we'll be taking a look at one of the latest additions to the KT333 lot, the Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra. Soyo has been producing the "Dragon" line of motherboards since... Read more...
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