/ Setup With The SY-6VCA
expected with all ATX motherboards, physical
installation was a no-brainer.
Mounting and powering up the board was
completely problem free.
Should you have the right hardware (screws,
stand-offs?Etc.) physical installation is
requires some special attention when installing a
VIA Apollo 133a based board though.
The proper UltraDMA and AGP drivers are not
native to Windows 98, so you?ll have to install
VIA?s 4-in-One driver to gain all the benefits
this chipset offers. There are newer drivers available on VIA?s website than the
one?s included on the CD, we recommend using
them as performance and compatibility have
increased incrementally with each release.
Intel PIII 933 (at 933mhz
& 980mhz), 256mb Mushkin 2-2-2 PC133 ram, 3dfx
Voodoo5 5500, IBM 22GXP HD, Plextor UltraPlex
40max, Windows 98SE, DirectX 7.0a and VIA 4-in-1
is the first review of a VIA based board we?ve
done using our shiny new PIII 933, so we don?t
have a standard of which to hold the 6VCA?s
numbers against. However, when you see the scores
you?ll agree they are top-notch.
6VCA really shines once you start tweaking for
performance. The Soyo AI-BIOS (Award based) is excellent, offering 32
selectable FSBs and PCI clock speeds between 66mhz
and 155mhz. There
is also one feature we have not seen before called
?Bank Interleaving? which when activated,
gives a huge boost in memory throughput.
It dramatically improves timing characteristics
between the banks of SDRAM memory you have
ran SiSoft Sandra 2000 to test the 6VCA?s
PIII @ 933MHz CPU
Intel PIII @ 980MHz CPU Bench.
you can see, the 6VCA gives this processor
"room to breath". The 6VCA also
takes what has been know as a finicky chip to
overclock all the way up to 980mhz (140mhz FSB)
without a problem.
PIII @ 933mhz Drive
Intel PIII @ 980MHz. Drive Bench
scores for this drive but we really have to get a
quicker drive for testing.
before I show you the SiSoft memory scores, I want
to illustrate what kind of difference the Bank
Interleave option in the BIOS makes. This
score was posted with Bank Interleaving disabled
at the processor's default 933mhz.
@ 933 Memory Scores No Bank Interleave
are the kind of numbers being posted before the
Apollo 133A matured. Take a look at a what a
little tweaking in the BIOS can do.
PIII @ 933MHz Memory
Intel PIII @ 980MHz Memory Bench.
days of complaining about the memory performance
of the VIA Apollo 133A are over. The high
score we achieved with standard PC133 RAM is
almost as high as what the PC800 RDRAM scored in
Davo's review of the i820 based Soyo
SY-6ICA! There was a 37mhz difference in
clockspeed (in the 6VCA's favor), but nonetheless,
this further shows there is no reason to spend 5
times as much money on RDRAM.
also ran ZD Winbench 99 while overclocked.
Winbench runs a variety of test designed to
duplicate real world performance.
Winbench numbers were excellent, as expected with
the kind of power we had!
throughout all of our testing was excellent, a
testament to the quality of this board when you
realize that we were approaching the 1GHz. mark.
Even at a 140mhz FSB with 980mhz of
horsepower pushing it, the 6VCA never
hiccupped. The ability to tweak the CPU core
voltage could really help you get to the next
level. Soyo definitely makes a board with
the overclocker in mind.
beautiful as it was to see benchmark scores that
high, the downfalls of the layout prevent me from
proclaiming the Soyo SY-6VCA King of the Apollo
Our expectations were very high and the
performance, stability, features and compatibility
were all there.
We would whole-heartedly recommended the
6VCA to power users and novices alike as the
problems with the layout are overshadowed by its
Despite a few minor aesthetic problems, this board
is an excellent performer.
SY-6VCA from Soyo earns a Hot Hardware Heat Meter
your peace in the Hot Hardware Conference Room!