Soyo K7DRAGON vs The Gigabtye 7DXR

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The Soyo K7DRAGON vs The Gigabtye 7DXR - Page 3

Soyo's K7-DRAGON -vs- Gigabyte's 7DXR
The KT266 and AMD760 Square Off!

By, Marco Chiappetta
October 25, 2001

OVERCLOCKING PROWESS:

The Soyo K7-DRAGON is the far easier board to overclock with.  Within the BIOS, under the "Soyo Combo Feature" menu, you will find items to manipulate the CPU multiplier (5.5 - 14), Front Side Bus (FSB) from 95-166 MHz in 1 MHz increments and VCore voltage adjustments from 1.35v - 1.85v in +0.025v increments.  The only thing notably absent is a VIO adjustment, should users want to bump up the voltage to their memory.

Overclocking with the Gigabyte 7DXR is done by using a combination of DIP switches mounted on the board and through FSB adjustments in the BIOS.  Multipliers between 5.5 and 12.5 are selectable via DIP switches, FSBs from 100MHz-250MHz are available within the BIOS (there are also FSBs selectable via DIP switches) and a VCore voltage between 1.5 - 1.85v  in .025v increments is selectable, again using some on-board DIP switches.

Overclocking with the Gigabyte 7DXR can also be accomplished using their "EasyTune III" software.  EasyTune III is a small application that allows users to make FSB adjustments from within Windows.  We have used this software in the past, but prefer to overclock via the system BIOS.  For a quick look at what EasyTune III is all about, check out this page on Gigabyte's site.

The Hot Hardware Test Systems
You Just Have to Love Them!

AMD Athlon @ 1400MHz. & 1450MHz.

Soyo K7-DRAGON VIA KT266

2568MB Corsair PC2400 (CAS 2)

GeForce 3 (21.85 Drivers)

3Com 3C905 NIC

Hercules Game Theater XP

IBM 7200RPM 30GB HD x (2)

Creative Labs 52X CD-Rom

Standard Floppy Drive

Windows Millennium

DirectX 8.0a

Via 4-in-1s v.4.33

AMD Athlon @ 1400MHz. & 1450MHz.

Gigabyte 7DXR AMD 761 / VIA 686B Hybrid

2568MB Corsair PC2400 (8-8-8-2-6-2-2)

GeForce 3 (21.85 Drivers)

3Com 3C905 NIC

Hercules Game Theater XP

IBM 7200RPM 30GB HD x (2)

Creative Labs 52X CD-Rom

Standard Floppy Drive

Windows Millennium

DirectX 8.0a

Via 4-in-1s v.4.33 & AMD AGP Drivers

Performance Comparisons
Time for some numbers...

The first benchmark we ran was the venerable SiSoft Sandra...

SiSOFT SANDRA:

Soyo
CPU @ 1400MHz

Gigabyte
CPU @ 1400MHz

As you can see, there is no discernable performance difference between either of these boards in Sandra's CPU test.

Soyo
MM @ 1400MHz

Gigabyte
MM @
1400MHz

We see more of the same here.  Sandra's Multi-Media benchmark shows both boards running neck and neck.

Soyo
MEM @ 1400MHz

Gigabyte
MEM @
1400MHz

In the all important memory benchmark we see the AMD-761 powered GA-7DXR outpace the KT266 powered K7-DRAGON by hair.  The difference isn't anything to write home about, but every megabyte counts.  The AMD-761 is also known to have to lower latency than the original KT266 (the KT266A turned the tables though).  The slight increase in available bandwidth along with the lower latency should theoretically yield better performance in bandwidth intensive applications.

Soyo
RAID 0

Gigabyte
RAID 0

Both of these boards used the exact same on-board Promise 20265R RAID controller, and it shows looking at the above scores.

Soyo
CPU OC'd @ 1590MHz.
(11.5X138)

Gigabyte
CPU OC'd @
1590MHz.
(11.5X138)

We also pushed our 1.4GHz. Athlon to it's limit with both boards.  This particular CPU isn't the best overclocker, 1590MHz. was the maximum speed we could hit.  The K7-DRAGON and 7DXR both took this CPU to it's limit without a problem.  This same CPU has been installed in an IWill KK266Plus and an Epox 8K7A+, some of the best "overclocking" boards out there, and has never made it past 1590MHz. and remained stable.

Time for some gaming scores...

QUAKE 3 ARENA:

At 640x480x16,  using a high end graphics card, Quake 3 Arena is limited by the CPU's performance.  At this low resolution, the K7-DRAGIN and 7DXR both posted nice scores, just barely missing the 200FPS barrier.  The Gigabyte 7DXR had a miniscule 2FPS  advantage...

Jammin' to the Stones

 

 
Tags:  dragon, 7D, DX, AG, BT, K

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