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Soyo 6VCA VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review

Soyo 6VCA VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Soyo has been one of the most well known motherboard manufacturers around the world for quite sometime now. In the last few years Soyo's boards have build up a good reputation for their overclocking capabilities. With the introduction of the Via Apollo Pro 133A chipset, pretty much every motherboard manufacturer out there began to release their own motherboards based on this chipset. In this review we will be taking a look at the Soyo 6VCA which is based on the Via Apollo Pro 133A.
 75% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Soyo Aug 28 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Soyo 6VCA

Gaming Performance

The Quake 3 chart clearly unveils the high gaming performance of the 6VCA. The tested board again shows excellent performance, almost toping the fastest boards tested at PCstats. Gamers will be very pleased with the 6VCA's performance under Quake3.

Overclocking

The 6VCA supports a wide array of FSB settings and its BIOS even includes manual L2 cache latency adjustment. As a matter of fact, this is the first motherboard tested in PCi's labs which sports this feature.

For the benefit of overclocking, the 6VCA also includes Vcore increase of up to 10% is steps of 2.5% by way of jumper adjustment. These features make the 6VCA a very powerful overclocking platform theoretically.

Being a Slot 1 motherboard has its ups and downs: if we proceed to install a "slocket", we will inevitably generate extra electromagnetic noise and interference to the CPU signal and this could force us to increase the CPU voltage in order to get a "cleaner" CPU signal. On the other hand, we can get more than a 10% CPU voltage increase by using the voltage setting of the slocket (provided it has a manual Vcore adjustment). So in theory the overclocking potential of the 6VCA is very promising.

In practice the Soyo 6VCA confirmed our beliefs with its great overclocking capabilities. We managed to overclock a Celeron 400MHz to 570MHz by setting the bus speed to 95MHz, the Vcore to +5% and disabling the +33MHz BIOS option (the PC100 SDRAM we used, could not work at 95MHz+33MHz=128MHz). The system worked 100% reliably at 570MHz with all BIOS settings tweaked (with exception of the HOSTCLK memory option). The other 2 motherboards that were able to achieve this setting 100% reliably was the Soyo 7VCA and the Soyo 6BA +IV. The Celeron at 570mhz worked great for many hours on a hot day without any crashes or lockups.

Subsequently, we attempted to overclock an FCPGA Celeron 566A to 850MHz but the system refused to post even when we set the voltage on the slocket at 1.8V (20% over the default 1.5V). The highest we could squeeze out of the Celeron 566A was 706Mhz (83x8.5). The same FCPGA Celeron did operate properly at 890MHz only on the Soyo 6BA+IV. However, it is interesting to point out that the Celeron 566A would not post on ANY of the Via Apollo Pro 133A based boards tested at PCstats. So the fact that an 850MHz post did not occur with the Soyo 6VCA speaks more of the chipset itself rather than the potential of the motherboard.

Overclocking Pentium III Coppermine is a different story. Our primary problem resides strictly with a Celeron II 566 and the VIA Apollo Pro 133A.

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Contents of Article: Soyo 6VCA
 Pg 1.  Soyo 6VCA VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Test Bed (cont)
 Pg 3.  — Gaming Performance
 Pg 4.  System Stability

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