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Soyo K7VTA KT133 Motherboard Review

Soyo K7VTA KT133 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: In the wake of the popularity of the Athlon/Duron platform, Soyo has released 2 Socket A boards of their own: the SY K7VTA B and the SY K7VTA. Soyo Europe was kind enough to provide us with both of them. These two boards look quite similar, but they do have some significant differences in feature set.
 90% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Soyo Jan 09 2001   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Soyo K7VTA

Soyo K7VTA KT133 Motherboard Review


In the wake of the popularity of the Athlon/Duron platform, Soyo has released 2 Socket A boards of their own: the SY K7VTA B and the SY K7VTA. Soyo Europe was kind enough to provide us with both of them. These two boards look quite similar, but they do have some significant differences in feature set.

The early SY K7VTA is equipped with VIA's older southbridge (82C686A), which supports up a hard disk transfer mode of ATA 66, whereas the SY K7VTA B has the latest ATA 100 capable southbridge (82C686B). One particular enhancement of the K7VTA B is the presence of multiplier DIP switches. This is important addition that makes this product a very attractive choice for overclockers and enthusiasts.

In this review we are going to focus on the K7VTA, as we are working on a separate review on the "B" revision.

First Impressions

Our Soyo K7VTA sample contained the following material.

One ATA 66/100 cable & FDD cable
Printed manual
One CD with motherboard drivers, including a full version of the manual in PDF format and a system monitoring utility
3 in 1 bonus pack CD including: Symantec Norton Antivirus, Norton Ghost & Norton Virtual Drive

Our sample board is equipped with a chipset heatsink and had a printed manual. Interestingly enough, according to the manual (PDF version), this board was based upon a pilot run. Just a small fact that we feel worthy of mention.

The K7VTA's layout looks to be very well designed as all sockets, headers, etc. are where they should be. The adjacent space layout around the CPU socket seems ample enough to handle a pretty big fan/heatsink combo. As a matter of fact, there are 4 holes around the CPU socket for proper cooling by way of custom design heatsinks. The K7VTA offers a sufficient amount of cooling options by providing for 3 fan headers with each of them properly monitored in the system BIOS.

DIMM slots on the K7VTA are situated above the lower end of the AGP socket by about 1/2 inch. The benefit of such placement allows for memory to be in/unstalled without having to remove the AGP video card first. In some small ATX cases, the outermost DIMM socket might be rendered useable as it is a bit too close to the back of a CD ROM unit. All IDE/FDD connectors are easily within reach and all slots can handle full sized add in cards. To contribute to the cause of system stability, the K7VTA is equipped with 13 x 1500µF and 15 x 1000µF capacitors. Overall, a well designed board.

No problems to report here. The K7VTA setups up pretty quickly and smoothly. If you wish to start overclocking out of the box, there are BIOS FSB and CPU core voltage settings to allow for this. Other than that, Windows 98 installed smoothly with no problems apparent.

Testbed Setup

AMD Duron 600 MHz
Tested boards: DFI AK74 EC (KT 133, ATA 100), DFI AK74 AC (KT 133A, ATA 100), Soyo K7VTA B (KT 133,ATA 100) and Soyo K7VTA (KT 133, ATA 100) paired with VIA 4 in 1 drivers 4.25a
128MB PC 133 CAS 2 SDRAM
ELSA Erazor (Nvidia Geforce 256 DDR), Detonator 6.31
Western Digital 30GB ATA 66 hard drive, 5400rpm (WD307AA)
Labway Xwave 6000 (sound card based on Yamaha 744b), 2013 drivers
NEC 5500A DVDrom (8x/40x)

BIOS settings on all of the tested boards were tweaked for maximum performance (HCLK+33, CAS 2, Bank interleave, etc). Do note that Quake3 scores were taken with sound enabled.

© 2017 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: Soyo K7VTA
 Pg 1.  — Soyo K7VTA KT133 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Benchmarks
 Pg 3.  Memory Bandwidth Performance

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