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Soyo K7VTA PRO

Company: Soyo
Product:
K7VTA PRO Motherboard
Street Price: ~ $150
Complete Motherboard Spec's: Soyo Spec's
Date Reviewed: February 27, 2001
Reviewed By: Jason

I drew a red box around the thermistor in the socket since is it kind of hard to see. It sits low on the motherboard instead of pressing against the back side of the CPU like ABIT does, however it does provided very similar and constant readings to what I got on the ABIT board. Also note the plastic lever which sits flush with the socket, since most boards now have their levers as flat as possible, it just seems that the plastic ones are easier to work with than the metal ones. Since most people won't be taking the CPU out on a daily basis this probably isn't a big issue, but it is still a nice feature.

The K7VTA PRO uses a two-phase power solution, which I just read an article saying two-phase solutions should be good up to 50w (this is all just theory though) which means you should be safe up to around 1.5GHz. However if you look at the picture from the first page, Soyo has already placed spots for an additional pair of voltage regulators, so we might see these being added sometime in the future.

Overclocking this board can be a little tricky at first, but there is a wide range of FSB speeds to choose from. First with the K7VTA PRO you have a pair of jumpers to choose either 100 or 133FSB. Once you set the jumpers then you can go in the BIOS to adjust the FSB speed. If you choose 100 then your FSB speed in the BIOS can be adjusted from 100 up to 120FSB, and if you choose 133 then you can adjust from 125 to 166FSB! (I think the jumper has more to do with the PCI / AGP divisor than anything else.) I set the jumpers for 133FSB and never touched them again, why would anyone buy a KT133A board and not utilize it to its fullest potential? So the jumpers really aren't an issue, you just set them and leave them alone.

However changing the multiplier is a little bit different. There are 4 dipswitches that must be set for different multiplier settings. While tweaking a CPU I changed these a few times, but most of the time I was fidgeting in the BIOS adjusting the FSB speed trying to max it out instead of going with a higher multiplier and a lower FSB speed. I would really like to see Soyo move the multiplier adjustments to the BIOS sometime in the future, it would be so much more convenient than the dipswitches.

 

What's In The Box?

Another nice thing about Soyo boards is they include a CD with some really nice goodies. The two nicest programs that are included is Norton Antivirus 2000 & Norton Ghost, but there are actually 8 programs in all that are on the CD. You get a manual detailing the board and all the settings, and the regular ATA/100 IDE & floppy cables. Like I said before they don't include the extra USB cables, but you can pick these up for $5.00 if you discover that you really need (or want) the extra two ports. There is also the regular Soyo CD with drivers and such, but I always go to the various websites to get the latest versions of all the drivers.

 

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