Soyo Dragon2 KT880 Motherboard

Article Index

Some Gaming and the Conclusion


Throwing in a round of gaming benchmarks is mandatory for any motherboard showcase at HH.  We used Unreal Tournament 2003, Halo - Combat Evolved and Aquamark 3.  All gaming benchmarks were run at a resolution of 640x480 to take as much stress off of the graphics card as possible and place it on overall system bandwidth.

Unreal Tournament 2003
DX8 Performance

This test consists of running a "Fly-By" on the "Citadel" level of Unreal Tournament 2003.  The UT2K3 scores again show the Soyo Dragon2 motherboard being outpaced by its counterparts to the tone of 8% which is a healthy lead.  

Aquamark 3
DX9 Performance


The Aquamark 3 scores follow the trend we've seen thus far and place the nForce2 Ultra motherboards on top.  

Our final test using Halo - Combat Evolved, places the Soyo KT880 motherboard in a dead heat with the nForce2 Ultra motherboards.  This is one of the tighter races we've seen up to this point.

Soyo Dragon2 KT880 Analysis:
Motherboards supporting the AMD Athlon XP line of processors have been around for some time now.  With each new generation of chipsets, we see improvements in performance as well as additional functionality to support the latest hardware trends.  It's easy to argue, that the race for Athlon XP marketshare has gone to NVIDIA's nForce2 Ultra chipset while VIA's line of KTXXX chipsets is a close second.  After putting the Soyo KT880 motherboard through a round of benchmarks against two other nForce2 Ultra based motherboards, it's not hard to see why VIA remains behind in this sector, however.  While the functionality of both chipsets remains competitive, the performance of the KT880 chipset leaves something to be desired.  

This is no fault of Soyo's though, as they have put together a very reliable product in the Dragon2 KT880 motherboard.  It's always nice to have a piece of hardware that works as advertised from the time we plug it in until we are finished with our testing.  Soyo did not disappoint.  But the question remains... Why bother with a VIA KT880 based product when the nForce2 Ultra products are more plentiful, and affordable?  The release of the latest revision of the nForce2 chipset, the nForce2 Ultra 400Gb, which sports a built in networking firewall, system utility, and on-the-fly overclocking options, gives much more value to the end user.   However, we'd like to give Soyo its proper credit in puting together a solid motherboard.  Anyone in the market for a reliable motherboard with enthusiast-like functionality will find the Soyo Dragon2 KT880 motherboard is for you.  On the flip side, if you're in the market for an all around solution for the AMD Athlon XP processor, then we'd have to steer you toward an nForce2 Ultra motherboard.  We're giving the Soyo Dragon2 KT880 motherboard a score of 7 on the HotHardware Heat Meter.

  • Loaded with features
  • Four SATA ports with RAID support
  • Gigabit LAN
  • 7.1 Surround Sound
  • Dual DDR400 support
  • USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394
  • Very stable with good performance
  • Not a great overclocker
  • BIOS options a bit lacking
  • nForce2 Ultra chipset a better solution
  • Availability
  • Price

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

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