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Soyo SY-7VCA

Company: Soyo Computer Inc.
SY-7VCA Motherboard
Street Price: ~ $120
Complete Motherboard Spec's: http://www.soyousa.com/sy7vca.html
Complete Chipset Spec's:
Date Reviewed:
April 14, 2000
Reviewed By: Jason


First Impression:

This was a board that I purchased from Azzo to build for my secondary PC. The good thing about most of the new VIA based boards are that many of the manufactures choose to make use of the integrated audio in the chipset. All that's required is to add a codec chip & the connectors to plug your speakers / mic into. I couldn't justify spending $50-$100 for a SBLive for audio when I'm not going to be using this machine for gaming or anything hardcore, the onboard audio works great for my daily routine. I have been testing and using this board for quite some time now and I haven't had a single problem with it. My CPU has been running stable overclocked to 781, memory at Turbo & CAS2 (141 FSB). Soyo went all out on this board giving lots of FSB speeds for the overclocker. Choices are: 66, 68, 75, 80, 83, 85, 90, 95, 100, 103, 105, 109, 112, 114, 115, 118, 120, 124, 126, 129, 133, 135, 138, 140, 141, 143, 145, 147, 150, 154, 160, 166. Whew! If that ain't enough for ya, then I don't know what is! I'm still tweakin  trying to get up to 145, but my Adaptec 2940UW card doesn't like anything higher than 141, it's a pretty old card so I can understand why. I'm going to take it out as soon as I get an IDE CD-ROM. But if you are in the market for a new motherboard, look no further, Soyo had made a winner with the SY-7VCA.

A quick look at the motherboard design shows an unkeyed 4x AGP slot, 5 PCI slots, 1 ISA, and an AMR slot. You will notice that Soyo decided to stick the floppy connector down with the AMR slot, I can't really say if this was a good or bad call. If you have a mid-tower case and your floppy drive(s) are below all your 51/4 slots, than it's in a perfect location, but if you have a full tower case with the floppy drive up at the very top, then it's kinda a stretch to get your cable all the way up there. Call me old fashioned but I like having my connectors all together in the front of the board. Speaking of which, there are the two ATA/66 connectors in the traditional location. Notice that the socket uses a metal lever, but have no fear, when I stuck my FC-PAL35 on it, it sat flush on my coppermine, no bending / grinding / cutting was necessary. (man, I was hoping to break out the dremmel, it's so fun to use) There is also a connector if you want to add 2 more USB ports (since the VIA chipset is able to supports 4). There are 2 Fan headers, both have the RPM monitored by the system.

Getting down to the BIOS, well I was working hard on benchmarks and I was just about finished when I got word that there was a new BIOS update, so I went ahead and flashed it and it had some interesting little features, along with improved memory benchmarks.

On To Page 2!


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