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SOYO KT880 Dragon 2 Rev2.0

Reviewed 11/13/04

Sponsored

by

SOYO

  SOYO provided us with their KT880 motherboard. This board is not a beginner mother board, it is filled with numerous types of configurations and features.  We are going to take a look at a few of these features and rate the performance with an AMD XP 2500+ CPU. Please be sure to understand that with the numerous configurations, it is impossible for Marns CDA to do an all out extensive feature set test. Thus, we are going to take a look at the important features and installation of this main board.

 

 

Specifications

 Processor
*
Athlon XP: 1800+ - 3200+
* Duron: 1.3GHz - 1.8 GHz
* Click here for maximum CPU support
* Click here for maximum Front Side Bus (FSB) support

 
Chipset Description
* VIA KT880 / 8237 chipset
* Supports 266/333/400 MHz FSB
Graphics Info
* AGP PRO slot supporting up to 8X AGP

Form Factor
* ATX

 
Memory Type
*
Dual Channel DDR400/333/266 SDRAM
Memory Description
* Provide DUAL Channel DDR for total of Four 184-pin DIMM sockets support up to 4GB
* Supports PC3200/PC2700/PC2100 unbuffered and registered double side DIMMs

* Click here for memory speed/CPU FSB compatibility information
Expansion Slots
* Five 32-bit Bus Mastering PCI slots (V2.2 compliant)
* One Universal 8X AGP Pro slot (supports 8x/4x modes)
Expansion Slot Types
* Five 32-bit Bus Mastering PCI
IDE Type
* UDMA 66/100/133

 
IDE Description
*
4 channels Parallel ATA IDE ports
* Supports RAID 0, 1, 0+1, JBOD
* 4 channels Serial ATA IDE ports
* Supports RAID 0, 1, JBOD
* Supports up to PIO mode 5 & Ultra DMA 66/100/133

 
Audio Description
* Onboard Realtek ALC850 AC97 channels audio CODEC
* Supports SPDIF input/output

 
IO Port Description
* One COM port pin header
* One parallel printer port (SPP/EPP/ECP mode)
* One FDD port (supports 3 modes, 1.2/1.44/2.88MB FDD)
* Provides IrDA ports with optional cable for transceiver
* Provides 8 USB 2.0 ports (4*rear, 4*pin header)
* Provides two 1394 Firewire pin headers

 
IO Connection Description
* Double Stack Back-Panel I/O Connectors
* PS/2 Mini-DIN mouse & keyboard ports
* Four USB 2.0 ports
* One embedded RJ45 LAN connector (10/100/1000)
* One D-Sub 25-pin female printer port
* Audio I/O: LINE-OUT x 1, LINE-IN x 1 (share SPDIF-in), MIC JACK x 1, Center/BASS x1 (share SPDIF-out), Rear x 1, Side Surround x 1

 BIOS Description
* AMI PCI BIOS with ACPI function
* Supports multiple-boot from E-IDE / SCSI / CD-ROM / FDD / LS120 / ZIP
* 4 Mbyte Flash ROM
Health Monitoring Description
* On board voltage monitors Vcore +3.3v, +5v, +12v
* CPU fan and CHA fan speed monitor
* CPU temperature and CHA temperature monitor
* CPU temperature overheats protection
Dimension Description
* Four layers, 30.5 cm x 24.5 cm (12" x 9.6")
* ATX form factor

 Certification
* FCC Class B & CE EMI Regulation Compliant. PC99 Compliant
Compatibilities
WinXP / Win2000 / WinNT / WinME / Win98SE / Linux / FreeBSD

 
Warranty
All SOYO products are designed to offer stability and flexibility, and are tested to ensure highest reliability. We offer a 1 year limited warranty on this SOYO product

Product Page SOYO.com

 

Price 

 $113.00 Newegg price. Considering all the featuresm the cost for this motherboard is a very reasonable price.

Purchase link to Newegg.com

 

Installation

  As I mentioned earlier, this motherboard is not recommended for a first time modder or PC builder. The install is complicated and you need to know your stuff. What I am going to focus on are the unique aspects of the install. You will need to read the product's manual to review the remaining information.

  We are not going to get into the many different types of RAID setups or configurations. Just know that there are very few boards on the market at this price range that have the compatibility that SOYO has put into the KT880. It has a dual RAID system with either an IDE or Serial ATA interface. SOYO also provides 4 SATA cables and 2 IDE so they provide everything but the drives.

  Enough about the RAID controllers, let's discuss the install. For the most part, the installation is pretty standard. Hook up the ATX power connector.  Install the RAM and CPU. And put your IO cards in either the PCI or AGP slots. Note: you will need the SATA power connector and a minimum of a 350w PSU. I recommend at least a 400w.

 

 

  Something different that I haven't observed on a motherboard in a while is the COM & Parallel Port. SOYO uses a ribbon cable system that was very common on the older K6 AMD CPU chip sets. The ports are mounted using a rear IO card slot.

 

 

  The installation documentation is very well written and extensive. If you don't like reading, this is not the board for you. Everything you need to know about this board is well illustrated and noted in the manual.

  This board also provides a lot of USB support. There are a few internal hook-ups, perfect for the experienced modder to install anything from Multi Port card readers to LCD displays.

 

 

  As for the CPU, it's pretty standard, not much to tell. If you have ever installed a K7 Socket-A, then this is nothing new. Place the chip in the socket and make sure you have it facing the proper direction. The CPU should fall right into place and then you can close the mounting lever.

 

 

  The Case switches and LED wiring is pretty standard as well. All the wire mounts are placed in the lower right corner, like most boards. Again, this is nothing new, but here is what it looks like:

 

 

  When all is read and done, the install is a snap. There are a few tricks to get things running but the documentation covers everything well.  From opening the box to start-up, installation took around an hour ( no RAID ).

 

Appearance

  SOYO does a fine job of adding style to the KT880. They accent the board with multi- colored plastics, which also double as indicators for installation and keeping order to the cable hook ups. 

 

 

  The over all look of this board is appealing. It is perfect for any person using window and lighting to show off their equipment.

 

Performance

 Let us begin with the PCMark04 results. This board rated well, not the fastest I have seen, but the board performed very well. Here is a link to a comparison between the SOYO KT880 and the ASUS A7N8X. The performance difference between these boards is minuscule, so they perform roughly the same. Please make sure you understand this is based on IDE hard drives and results may vary depending on the setup. We did our best to keep the equipment as similar as possible. The SOYO board, however, has a few tricks that will make it perform much better then the ASUS. These are namely the dual raid controllers and the extra RAM slot. 

Base results per PCMark04:

General Information
Operating System Microsoft Windows 2000
DirectX Version 9.0c
Mobo Manufacturer soyocomputer
Mobo Model KT880 Rev.2
AGP Rates (Current/Available) 8x / 8x
CPU AMD Athlon(tm) Processor 1827 MHz
Physical CPUs 1
HyperThreading Not Available
FSB 166 MHz
Memory 1022 MB

Display Information
Graphics Chipset NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700LE
Driver Name NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700LE
Driver Version 5.6.7.2
Video Memory 256 MB
Core Clock 250 MHz
Memory Clock 399 MHz

Sound Information
Sound Adapter Driver Name C-Media Wave Device
Sound Adapter Driver Version 5.12.1.42

Hard Disk Information
Model MAXTOR 6L020J1
Connection IDE
Capacity 19.13 GB

Benchmark Information
Program Version PCMark04 Revision 2 Build 0

Main Test Results
System Test Suite 2548 PCMarks
CPU Test Suite 3065
Memory Test Suite 2099

Detailed Test Results

System Test Suite
Multithreaded Test 1 / File Compression 2.52 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 1 / File Encryption 27.69 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 2 / File Decompression 19.25 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 2 / Image Processing 9.67 MPixels/s
Multithreaded Test 3 / Virus Scanning 1444.82 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 3 / Grammar Check 1.99 KB/s
File Decryption 55.41 MB/s
Audio Conversion 2114.65 KB/s
Web Page Rendering 4.37 Pages/s
WMV Video Compression 37.89 FPS
DivX Video Compression 42.44 FPS
Physics Calculation and 3D 70.29 FPS
Graphics Memory - 64 Lines 195.42 FPS

CPU Test Suite
Multithreaded Test 1 / File Compression 2.53 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 1 / File Encryption 27.69 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 2 / File Decompression 19.2 MB/s
Multithreaded Test 2 / Image Processing 9.66 MPixels/s
Grammar Check 4.06 KB/s
File Decryption 55.31 MB/s
Audio Conversion 2112.05 KB/s
WMV Video Compression 38.39 FPS
DivX Video Compression 42.85 MFPS

Memory Test Suite
Raw Block Read - 8 MB 1494.01 MB/s
Raw Block Read - 4 MB 1492.34 MB/s
Raw Block Read - 192 kB 5459.73 MB/s
Raw Block Read - 4 kB 20974.46 MB/s
Raw Block Write - 8 MB 2497.96 MB/s
Raw Block Write - 4 MB 2498.86 MB/s
Raw Block Write - 192 kB 5396.34 MB/s
Raw Block Write - 4 kB 9911.82 MB/s
Raw Block Copy - 8 MB 777.13 MB/s
Raw Block Copy - 4 MB 772.59 MB/s
Raw Block Copy - 192 kB 3460.67 MB/s
Raw Block Copy - 4 kB 7315.0 MB/s
Random Access - 8 MB 883.86 MB/s
Random Access - 4 MB 882.8 MB/s
Random Access - 192 kB 4329.7 MB/s
Random Access - 4 kB 10208.25 MB/s

  The on board Sound device (Realtek ALC850 AC97 channels audio CODEC) on this board is awesome. No need to get the Sound Blaster card in order to have Dolby 5.1 support. I was impressed with the extra CODEC software, the sound setup reminds me of the Creative software, but with a different front end. The sound itself, though only using 2.1, was awesome. I was currently used to SoundBlaster Live and the difference with the 2.1 speakers is quite miniscule. 

 

  

 

  The overall performance of this board is more then satisfactory. And if you are setting up either an SATA or an IDE RAID, I decently recommend this board for the Modding or Gaming enthusiast.

 

Quality

  I have nothing derogative to say in regards to the quality of this product. The board construction is very solid.  There are no visible flaws with any of the onboard components.

 The packaging is adequate, very similar to is competitors, so not much to report.

  As for the Extras, I have to say the amount of cabling provided is ample and nice. There is no need to go out and get the extra SATA cable or IDE. SOYO provides 4 SATA cables, 2 IDE's, a floppy and all the cables you need.

  The Installation documentation as I mentioned earlier is phenomenal. They provide everything you need. It is not necessarily written for the novice PC builder but anyone with a little experience I am sure will do fine. Heck, you might even learn something you didn't know!

  Drivers and software installation is pretty standard. Even though you must know your model, the driver install is not auto-sensing. The Mother board Probe software for when you are using Windows is very simple, it tells you what you need to know.

 

Pros

The ability for many types of possible configurations.

Extra cables are always good.

The sound is awesome.

The color scheme of the KT880 is visually appealing.

Cons

The installation for this board is not for everyone. This board is designed for an experienced PC builder.

Documentation, though well written, is designed for a veteran PC builder. It is not designed for your novice builder.

 

Conclusion

 

  If you are a first time modder or builder this board may not be for you. But if you are a veteran, this is exactly what you are looking for. The multitude of configurations and setups make this one of the most versatile boards in its class.  Marns is awarding the SOYO KT880 Dragon 2 Rev2.0 the Marns CDA "Blue Ribbon Seal of Approval". Job well done SOYO, congratulations!

 

Rating 5 & 1/2 out of 6 stars

Review Date 11/13/04

Reviewer pr101j (Paul)

 

Company Info

Home Page

Contact Link

 

Contact Info

 

Headquarters

SOYO GROUP INC.
1420 S. Vintage Ave.
Ontario, CA 91761
Tel: 909-292-2500
Fax: 909-937-0783
Email Us
Technical Support

Latin America


Brazil Sales Office / RMA Center
Rua André Ampere 153 andar 17 sala 171/172
Brooklin Novo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.
CEP: 04562-080
Tel: 55 11 5103-3522
Fax: 55 11 5102-3522
Web Site: http://www.soyola.com
Email: Info@soyola.com (General Inquiries)
Email: Sales@soyola.com (Channel Sales)
Sales
Technical Support

 

 

Marns CDA

By

pr101j

 

 

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All other trademarks and copyrights on this site are owned by their respective owners. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction by permission only. General disclaimer: This website displays the personal opinions of authors and other contributors. Marns CDA assumes absolutely no liability for these opinions nor for any damages that may result from reading and/or implementing any material found on this website.