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Soyo 7VMA PM 133 Motherboard Review

Soyo 7VMA PM 133 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: VIA has recently entered the integrated mainboard chipset market with the release of the VIA PM 133, a Socket 370 based chipset. This chipset is essentially a combination of the VIA Apollo 133A chipset coupled with the S3 Savage 2000 2D core and S3's Savage4 3D core.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Soyo Dec 10 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Soyo 7VMA

Overclocking and Conclusions



Soyo has been manufacturing motherboards with a good potential in overclocking for quite sometime now and the 7VMA is no exception. When we learned that the 7VMA did not offer for more than a 10% Vcore increase, we were quite skeptical. Add to this the fact that the 7VMA supports only 2 fan headers and lacks the option to increase/decrease FSBs by 1MHz. However, once we sat down for business, we were really quite amazed and what we saw.

Despite these limitations, we were able to overclock a Celeron 566MHz CPU to 850MHz at a lowly core voltage of 1.65V! No other board reviewed on PCstats has managed to accomplish this at a voltage less than 1.85V. That's pretty special...

Overall, our overclocking tests showed that the 7VMA is an extremely well designed board with superb overclocking capabilities although some desired feature are lacking. Lastly, it is worthy to mention that the area next surrounding the Socket 370 interface looks clean enough for a rather large heatsink. Overclockers enjoy!

Conclusions

VIA's Apollo Pro 133A has had plenty of time to mature the past year and the PM 133 chipset builds upon what the Apollo Pro 133A has become. We are quite happy with Soyo's incorporation of the PM 133 chipset. It offers excellent stability, a good feature set, solid performance, very good integrated 3D performance and a rather simple yet effective overclocking feature set.

Aside from these characteristics, one key point to observe is its relatively lower cost in comparison with a similarly configured i815/i815E based board. The latest revision of the 7VMA, the 7VMA B sports the newer VT82C686B southbridge that adds ATA/100 support. And there is no doubt that users will appreciate this new addition.

All in all, we are impressed with the Soyo 7VMA. Irrespective of its target market, this board should be attractive to a wide spectrum of users. Power hungry users will be satisfied by its performance and gamers will appreciate the available AGP slot. Though we found its sheer strength in overclocking to be excellent, its lack of 1MHz might deter those looking to "tune" their efforts for ideal performance. But for around $115, there really isn't much to complain about.

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Contents of Article: Soyo 7VMA
 Pg 1.  Soyo 7VMA PM 133 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Winstone Performance
 Pg 3.  Gaming Performance
 Pg 4.  — Overclocking and Conclusions

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