Quality and Setup With The 7VMA
it and turn it on.
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
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.
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
Can you guess who makes this
How about now? Can you guess now?!?
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.
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
What are you doing
Gettin' a little tight...
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.
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
With The 7VMA
holds up nicely.
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
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!)
- SiSoft Sandra