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Soyo 6VCA Motherboard Review

Soyo 6VCA Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Soyo 6VCA is a good board because of the support in VIA133A products with Bios upgrades that allow for faster memory scores... but see for yourself!
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Soyo Jun 29 2000   Bao Ly  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Soyo 6VCA

Onboard Features:

Onboard sound!  I am not a fan of onboard sound, especially since I already have a nice soundcard.  There could be some use for it somewhere, especially in large installations in which many computers have to be built, and having "free" sound is attractive.  With this on board sound card you get a joystick port, line out, line in, and microphone in jacks.  In addition there are two Soundblaster type audio ports built into the motherboard.  They are used primarily for CD-ROM drives, and are placed on either side of the AMR slot.

You get a parallel port (printer), two serial ports (serial mouse or external modem), and finally two PS/2 ports (for your keyboard and mouse.)  Two USB ports are available externally, with the option of adding two more ports with an add-on card.  Soyo does not provide this card, which is unfortunate for me, because I've run out of USB ports to use!

I have a few comments on the physical appearence and layout the motherboard.  First off, there is only one 3-pin power connector in the CPU area.  This is unfortunate for users using dual fans (Alpha P3125S etc.)  There is an additional 3-pin power connector for a chassis fan at the bottom of the motherboard.  The AGP port is placed a bit too close to the DIMM sockets, as the clips usually get into contact with the rear of the AGP card when I try to add or remove DIMMs.  The Northbridge BGA chip is cooled by the dreaded cheap green heatsink, attached with some thermal tape.  Even so, using the thermal tape is quite step up from the usual, clip on design that does not utilise any kind of thermal interface material.

The 6VCA uses a series of high quality resistors and capacitors to add stability, and overall strikes me as a quality focussed motherboard.  The ATX power connector is placed behind the DIMM sockets.  The rest of the onboard connectors are sensibly placed, and standard fare, so there's no real need to comment on them.

Overclocking:

Ah this is where all the excitement is isn't?  Well, getting performance for free is always exciting.  Overclocking with the Soyo 6VCA is a bit more complex than others.  While you can adjust the FSB frequency within the BIOS, voltage tweaks can only be done on the motherboard via a set of jumpers.  You can adjust the Vcore in three levels, the first allows for a 2.5% increase in voltage, the other two levels allow for 5 and 7.5% increases.  For overclocking, I decided to use an OEM Intel Pentium III 700E FCPGA.  I slapped it into an Asus FCPGA adapter card, and used my trusty Alpha FC-PAL35 to cool it.  I ignored the motherboard jumpers for Vcore adjustments, and I used the Asus adapter's jumpers to set my voltages instead.

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Contents of Article: Soyo 6VCA
 Pg 1.  Soyo 6VCA Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Motherboard Features:
 Pg 3.  — Onboard Features:
 Pg 4.  Overclocking the Soyo...
 Pg 5.  Final results

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