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.|
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.
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
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
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