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Soyo SBA+IV i440BX Motherboard Review

Soyo SBA+IV i440BX Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Some weeks ago, Soyo was kind enough to provide us with a few of their mainboards for reviewing. One of them being the 6BA+IV. The 6BA+IV is an enhanced Intel 440BX-based motherboard.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Soyo Jul 30 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Soyo SBA+IV

Overclocking and Conclusion

Overclocking capabilities of the Soyo 6BA+IV are outstanding, to say the least. We managed to overclock a Celeron 400MHz to 570MHz (6x95MHz) just by increasing the core voltage by 5% through its BIOS and setting the bus to 95MHz. Unfortunately, Soyo's 6BA+IV does not offer more than a 10% core voltage increase or up to 0.3 volts beyond default voltage.

We installed the Celeron II 566 FCPGA using an Asus FCPGA to Slot-1 adapter on Soyo 6BA+IV hoping to get somewhere near 900MHz. By default, the Celeron 566Mhz requires 1.5volts, which meant that the tested board could supply up to 1.65 volt (nominal + 10% of nominal). However, 1.65V was not enough to get it up to 850MHz (8.5x100MHz) reliably. In order to compensate, we had to use the Sloket's Vcore adjustment.

Upon setting the Sloket Vcore to 1.8V, we managed to overclock the FC-PGA Celeron to a reasonable 850MHz. We then managed to hit 892.5MHz (8.5x105MHz) 100% reliably by increasing the voltage to 1.84V (by setting the CPU Vcore through the BIOS to +2.5%).

In fact we are currently running our Celeron II at 890MHz with all BIOS settings tuned for maximum performance for the past few weeks and everything works great! On all the other tested boards it was impossible to reach 850MHz no matter what we tried (The DFI CB61 didnt have any voltage adjustment, and the rest VIA Apollo Pro 133A based boards couldn't even post at 850MHz!). We must note that the BIOS allows us to manually change the AGP/PCI multiplier and L2 cache latency in order to achieve 100% stability. Of course we must not forget that overclocking success of any Coppermine (with a nominal 100MHz or 133MHz bus) on the 6BA+IV relies mainly on the AGP tolerance of the video card.

The stability/compatibility of the tested board did not pose to us any negative issues. While using the board for many weeks I did not notice any crashes or any sort of abnormal behavior whatsoever. The only incompatibility that did occur took place when we installed the Elsa Erazor X2 (GeForce DDR accelerator). After installing the card everything operated as it should but after attempting to start any 3D game, the system would always freeze. After changing a few BIOS settings the problem was solved. The board worked great with 3 different brands of PC-100 SDRAM without any hassle what so ever. All in all the 6BA + IV is a trouble-free board.


The Soyo 6BA+IV is a great product in various aspects with plenty of nice features. It exhibits great stability, good compatibility and top-notch expandability (4 Dimms, 5 PCI & 2 ISA, 4 IDE channels, ATA-66 support, 3 fan connectors). The 6BA+IV sports some decent overclocking potential (supports 30 bus speeds & many other overclocking tweaks) and decent performance. In short, we are talking about a great product here.

Of course it does lack of AGP 4X (as with any other BX board), ATA-100 (which may be implemented through a third party controller), 4 USB ports, acceptable documentation and it is not the cheapest Intel BX based board. But its feature set and overall characteristics overwhelm all these drawbacks. If someone is searching for a great motherboard with a lot of overclocking potential, proven compatibility/reliability/expandability and doesn't care about the unofficial 133MHz and higher bus settings then the Soyo 6BA+IV should be a smart choice. This motherboard could fit in to a server quite nicely.

The Soyo 6BA+IV is one of the highest rated motherboard tested on PCstats only to be rivaled by the ABIT KA7 motherboard in terms of rating. For an Intel based solution, it is certainly among the best we have seen.

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Contents of Article: Soyo SBA+IV
 Pg 1.  Soyo SBA+IV i440BX Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  Winstone Performance
 Pg 3.  — Overclocking and Conclusion

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   12 / 17 / 2018 | 9:14AM
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