|Quality & Setup of the
Soyo SY-TISU Motherboard
Upon first inspection, the Soyo SY-TISU
motherboard reveals some very nice features. This
board has 1 AGP, 1 CNR, and 6 PCI slots, allowing ample room
for expansion. Although the board is fairly well laid
out, there are a few items that we wish were re-thought.
For example, notice how the lithium battery is placed so
close to the 5th and 6th PCI slots. In the future when
the battery needs replacing, which should be a very simple
task, users may be required
remove a PCI card if the card is longer than the actual
slot. Another common placement issue is the lack of
acceptable room between the RAM slots and the AGP slot.
If a user were to upgrade or change their RAM, it is almost
certain that the video card would have to be
removed in order to release the
tabs that secure the RAM in place. This placement of
the AGP slot is very common with many of today's
motherboards. Many reviewers have expressed annoyance
by this "problem", yet it seems few manufacturers have shown
any interest in changing their manufacturing procedures.
The SY-TISU comes with 3 SDRAM slots that
can accept a total of 512MB of RAM, the maximum allowed by
the i815 chipset. Soyo has also opted to add a
heatsink to the Northbridge which is always a welcomed
sight. There are a decent amount of capacitors placed
around the CPU socket and RAM slots to insure that clean
current is provided to these key
components. Soyo has done a very
nice job in positioning these capacitors so they do not
intrude on any critical areas. Notice that we had no
difficulty installing our oversized cooler on the CPU.
Using a Global Win FOP38 cooler with 7000RPM fan, the cooler
has plenty of additional room around it. If we felt it
necessary to apply an even larger cooler assembly, we're
comfortable in thinking that there should be no problems
This board is designed following the ATX
form factor standard, equipped with 2- PS2, 2-USB, 2-Serial,
1LPT port. Additionally, there are on-board audio and
joystick ports that can be easily disabled in the BIOS or by
adjusting the DIP Switches on the main board. Although
these DIP Switches may be hidden with the installation of a
CNR, we doubt that this will be a major issue.
provides support for a smart card reader as well as an
additional USB header.
Without a doubt,
the folks at Soyo have certainly put together a quality
motherboard with several nice touches. From what we've
seen so far, this board is built to last a long time with
plenty of room for future expansion. Let us move on to
the BIOS and go over some of the features that tie it all
As soon as we
looked at the BIOS, one thing became very clear...this board
is geared towards the overclocker. We clicked on the
first item in the BIOS titled the "Soyo Combo Feature" and
found a nice selection of settings designed to allow us to
push this system way beyond spec. The FSB can be
adjusted in 1MHz. increments up to a whopping 255MHz.!
(Not that you would go anywhere near that high).
The BIOS also
allows for CPU voltage adjustments in .025V increments up to
a maximum of 1.825V. This is extremely helpful in
maximizing a processor's overclocking potential. The
board also comes with a hardware monitor capable of viewing
critical voltages and temperatures. While testing out
an overclock, a safety can be set to shutdown the machine if
the CPU temperature increases beyond the specified setting.
This will certainly be helpful in protecting your CPU from
becoming a keychain.
Now that we've
covered some of the more important features of the BIOS, let
us move on to the test bench and see how the SOYO SY-TISU
Test System, The Stones, and a Dash of Overclocking