Soyo Dragon2 KT880 Motherboard

Article Index

Overclocking and Synthetic Tests



The Test Machine
Locked and Loaded



Soyo Dragon2 KT880 Motherboard

ABIT AN7 nForce2 Ultra Motherboard

DFI LANParty nForce2 Ultra Motherboard


Common Hardware and Software:

AMD Athlon XP 2800+ Barton Processor

2 x 256MB Kingston HyperX PC3500 Memory

AOpen Aeolus FX5600S 256MB (Drivers - v.56.72 WHQL)

Seagate 40GB ATA-100 7200RPM Hard Drive

On Board Sound

WinXP Professional w/ SP1

DirectX 9.0b

VIA Hyperion 4-in-1 Driver v.4.51

Going Above and Beyond


If you reference our previous nForce2 Ultra article pitting the DFI LANParty motherboard against the ABIT AN7 motherboard, you'll see that we achieved a high speed of 2420MHz using a multiplier of 10.5x and a front side bus speed of 230MHz with our Athlon XP 2800+ processor.  We wanted to see how high we could take this processor on this Soyo board to see how it compared, so we lowered the default multiplier of 12.5x to 12x and slowly brought up the front side bus.  We started low because we didn't want to run our AGP/PCI clock to far out of spec. And when all was said and done, we managed to reach and FSB of 200MHz (400MHz DDR) with a CPU voltage of 1.850V, which is the max CPU voltage setting allowed on this particular motherboard.  This is an impressive overclock which yielded a 15.6% (12 x 200MHx = 2400MHz) increase in speed over the stock setting of 12.5 x 166MHz or 2075MHz.  



Test Settings:

To begin testing we ran the Soyo KT880 motherboard through a round of synthetic benchmarks using the Sandra test suite.  To run this motherboard at dual channel DDR400 speeds, we set the CPU multiplier to 10x and the front side bus to 200MHz giving us a 2000MHz processor speed.

Sandra Testing: Default Settings DDR400

Sandra CPU

Sandra Multimedia

Sandra Memory


Sandra Testing: Overclocked DDR408

Sandra CPU
Sandra Multimedia
Sandra Memory


The overclocked scores show an increase of 14% for both the CPU and Multimedia tests.  The memory score increased a microscopic 0.4%.  This is due to the fact that our memory is running at the same speed of 400MHz at both the default and overclocked settings.  Also worth noting is the score of 2950 MB/s in the memory test comes in 4% lower than we've seen in previous nForce2 Ultra reviews.

ZD eTesting Labs Business and Content Creation Winstones
Desktop Application Performance

The Business Winstone 2004 tests include:

  • Microsoft Access 2002 SP-2
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 SP-2
  • Microsoft FrontPage 2002 SP-2
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 SP-2
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 SP-2
  • Microsoft Project 2002 SP-2
  • Microsoft Word 2002 SP-2
  • WinZip 8.1 SR-1
  • Norton Antivirus Professional Edition 2003

Content Creation Winstone 2004 tests include:

  • Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1
  • Adobe Premiere 6.50
  • Macromedia Director MX 9.0
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 6.1
  • Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 9 Version
  • NewTek's LightWave 3D 7.5b
  • Steinberg WaveLab 4.0f


The next round of benchmarks uses eTesting Lab's Business and Content Creation Winstone tests.  These tests put the system through a round of desktop application benchmarks which help show how the system performs with office-type and Content Creation applications.  From the graphs above, the VIA KT880 chipset lags behind the two nForce2 Ultra motherboards by 2% and 5% in the Business and Content Creation tests, respectively.  However, the difference in scores is right in line with the 3% margin of error allowed in these tests.


Tags:  Motherboard, dragon, board, AG, AR, K

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