Clash of the KT266A Titans!

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Clash of the KT266A Titans!
Motherboards from Abit, Asus, Soyo and MSI Do Battle!

By, Marco Chiappetta
December 13, 2001

THE Soyo K7-DRAGON Plus' BIOS:

        

        

The K7-DRAGON + is a completely jumperless board, so within the BIOS there are settings to control virtually all aspects of the board...

Once again you'll no doubt be familiar with the AWARD V4.51 BIOS powering the K7-DRAGON +.  Under the "Soyo Combo Feature" menu, a majority of the most wanted "tweaking" and overclocking options are available, with the exception of a DDR voltage adjustment.  Within the Combo Feature menu changing your multiplier, FSB or VCore voltage is only a matter of keystrokes.  Users can also adjust their memory timings for increased performance, or to accommodate different type of RAM.

Layout and Quality
Ton's O' Fun...

THE Soyo K7-DRAGON Plus' LAYOUT:

       

Finally we found something different when looking at the external case connectors!  The K7-DRAGON + was the only board in the round-up equipped with an on-board 10/100 NIC!  The slots are in a 1 AGP Pro. 5 PCI configuration, but we rally can't fault Soyo for not including a 6th PCI slot on the DRAGON + considering all of the on-board features.  This board has a quality on-board sound solution powered by the same C-Media CMI8738 chip found on the Asus board (but Soyo included the necessary connectors to utilize the 6th. channel and Digital-Out) , an on-board NIC and a Promise RAID controller.  Slap in a processor, RAM and a video card and you've got a full featured system!  Like the Asus board, the CPU socket has enough space around it to accommodate a large cooler, but it's mounted a bit to close to the DIMM slots for our liking.

       

Initially, we were happy to see that Soyo also chose to include active cooling on the Northbridge, but when we removed the cooler, we were disappointed to find that no thermal interface material was used.

    

The ATX power connector was placed between the power array and external case connectors.  We would have proffered to see it placed a bit higher on the board.  In it's current location we had to drape the power supply directly over our CPU cooler.  The case header was well labeled and well placed at the lower corner of the board.

    

All of the IDE, Floppy and RAID connectors are well placed, mounted parallel to the edge of the board.  We prefer the these connectors to be mounted this way, it makes it much easier to bundle the cables and keep in the inside of the case neat...

MSI's Board is Up Next...

Tags:  ita, Titan, Titans, K

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