Soyo's SY7VMA PM133 Socket 370 Motherboard

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Soyo's SY7VMA PM133 Socket 370 Motherboard - Page 2

Soyo's SY-7VMA - PM133 Socket 370 Motherboard
The i815 should be nervous...

By, Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta
12/7/00

Installation, Quality and Setup With The 7VMA
Mount it and turn it on.

The Soyo SY-7VMA installs just like any other ATX board...EASILY.  As long as you are using the proper stand-offs and screws, installation is a snap.  Simply mount the board, plug your cables in their proper locations and you're good to go.

One very cool feature is Soyo's Voice Doctor.  Like a meathead, when I first booted the system, I never plugged in a keyboard.  Instead of the standard "Keyboard Error" message, we were told in a clear female voice, "Keyboard is Unplugged".  Such a simple feature, but very cool!  It was weird to hear a voice coming from the system instead of the standard beep codes.  System builders will love this feature as it will eliminate some of those very simple support calls.

The quality of the 7VMA is top notch.  If you're a loyal visitor to H.H. and have read some of my earlier work, you know I like to give every product a thorough physical inspection.  We found some nice things when giving the SY-7VMA a good "once over".  The first thing to point out is the heatsink mounted on the chipset.

              
Can you guess who makes this board?!?                How about now? Can you guess now?!?

The PM133 runs relatively cool, but Soyo mounted a heatsink on the chipset anyway.  Notice that there are no spring clips.  The heatsink is held in place with thermal tape...not the best choice, but it's better than nothing.  

There were a few aspects that we did not like with the SY-7VMA.  The slot configuration is adequate but we are partial to a 6 PCI layout here.  

              
What are you doing here?                                                Gettin' a little tight...

Another VERY minor grievance is the placement of the case connectors.  They are mounted very close the ISA slot and the BIOS chip at a corner of the board.  When the board is mounted in your case, it is relatively difficult to get your hand in there to connect the case connectors.  This is a minor complaint but it was annoying enough to deserve a mention.

The SY-7VMA's BIOS is definitely a strong point, there are a plethora of options and tweaks available.  Our only complaint is a relative lack of FSBs.  There are quite a few available, and we had good luck overclocking, but we would have preferred FSBs in 1Mhz. increments.  Here are a few shots of what's available...

   

 

 

Overclocking With The 7VMA
It holds up nicely.

As we mentioned earlier, we had fairly good luck when overclocking with the SY-7VMA.  We were able to break the Gigahertz barrier with our particular CPU.  With our memory set to CAS2 and 4 bank interleaving enabled, we were able to hit a 144MHz. FSB.

Even at this relatively high FSB the 7VMA was perfectly stable.  We did not experience a single lock-up or crash throughout our entire barrage of testing. This is a testament to the stability of the SY-7VMA when you consider this chip was running faster than any Pentium III currently available. (even if it is just a little!)

Benchmarks - SiSoft Sandra

 
Tags:  Motherboard, SoC, m1, socket, board, AR, K, VM

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