A note about the performance testing of the Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra motherboard. When this motherboard first came onto the market, a number of reputable publications reported that the Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra was a bit slower than the competition. In fact, once we completed our tests, we saw a consistent trend of the Dragon not quite keeping up with the Abit KX7-333R in most of the tests we performed. So instead of simply posting our findings, we thought we would ask the people at Soyo about this situation. After speaking with their technical department, they explained that they have already begun to address this issue with a future BIOS update. Eager to prove that they were serious about this, they provided us with a BIOS that is a "Release Candidate" for a future update. So in this review you will see two sets of scores in each of the benchmarks, one with the current release BIOS and one with the "Release Candidate." This will help to show what the Dragon Ultra can do now and what we can look forward when the next BIOS update is released.
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| Benchmarks and Comparisons |
| OpenGL & DirectX |
To start things off, we always like to run a pass of the Quake 3 Timedemo "DEMO001" to show the CPU limit of a system. To do this, we set the graphics settings to 640x480x16 at the "Fastest" setting. This helps to minimize the effect the video card would have on a score since it would not be stressed in any way. This all but isolates the test to the CPU itself.
At first the score was a bit poor in comparison to the Abit board, however, once we updated to the new RC-BIOS, the Dragon leapt ahead of the KX7-333R by a margin of 7.9FPS. Once we overclocked the system, we were able to increase the score by an additional 25.5FPS, topping out at 287.5FPS. From what we're seeing here, it looks like a lot of people are going to appreciate the new BIOS Soyo has put together, as long as it doesn't change too much from the version we got to test.
Now we'll let the Dragon take a couple of runs at MadOnion's 3DMark2001SE.
Direct X with MadOnion's 3DMark2001:
With 3DMark2001SE, we ran the benchmark at the default settings, varying only the resolution, in this case, 800x600x32 and 1024x768x32.
As we've continued to see, the Soyo lagged being the Abit system while using the current BIOS, although at 800x600, it was a minor lag. With the updated BIOS the score increased 4.1%, but could quite top the KX7-333R. With a little overclocking, the Soyo Dragon Ultra was able to tack on another 905 points, hitting a peak of 12528.
Now let's see what happens at 1024x768x32.
Here we see a similar pattern, although the gains are not as drastic. This time around, with the new BIOS installed, the score increased over the original by 373 points, a gain of 3.5%. Once we overclocked the board, we were able to increase the score an additional 636 points, a much greater gain over the 800x600 test. All in all, the Soyo Dragon Ultra posted good scores with the current release BIOS and even better scores with the Release Candidate installed.
What do you say we continue this fun with MadOnion's PCMark2002Pro and see what gains could be found there?