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SOYO has provided our team with one of their K8 64 bit boards the CK8 this board is designed for a cost effective solution for the 64 bit chipsets. They don't fill this board with an abundance of features so lets take a look and make sure what they do provide performs well and all the needed components are available and do what SOYO promises...
Newegg price $101.00 USD Purchase Link
This seems like a very fair price for a 64 bit board supporting a 1,0 RAID controller . Now remember you get what you pay for so this board wont have all the bells and whistles of some other boards. SOYO does provide other products to fill this void.
The installation itself was pretty easy its your standard ATX board just mount the board in the case hook up the components and off you go.... I am not going to get into the install to much because there wasn't anything negative to point out. Everything was well designed from the documentation to the drivers... If you have ever installed a motherboard you will have no problems at all.. Just make sure your case can handle a full size ATX board some of the mid towers can support the boards but CD drive installation is not accounted for. With a full size board sometimes the CD will touch the board in the top corner so if you have multiple CD or 5 1/4 bay drives keep this in mind...
Now SOYO has gone one step father to make the install even better by providing all the cables even the SATA cables for install this is a big plus saving the consumer a few dollars and time getting the extras..
The over all installation went seamless and took less then an hour to do. The well written documentation helped with any situation that might have been ambiguous. Remember always read the documentation no mater how many installs you have done it is a good rule of thumb.. SOYO gets a high five for this install. Anyone with experience installing a board will have no problems .. Due to the fact that the install was so easy we chose not to write very much on it. If you have any question or an issue we did not cover feel free to e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org...Note: RAID installation is not a focus of our testing but note it is available for one SATA and one Parallel ATA drives if you want information on how and what RAID is and the uses look HERE...
SOYO does a fine job making this board appealing to the eyes as well. They use the dark color board with colored sockets to accent the board nicely... Placement of the sockets and ports is well done too. They put some thought into north bridge and power connection to make wiring and connection easy... The north bridge is placed behind the PCI slots note SOYO made sure the heat sink is lower then the slots them self to reduce interference when using longer PCI add-ons...
The CPU placement on the CK8 is done right. SOYO left plenty of room all the way around for any size cooler you decide to use... You can also note that this board comes with all the important features from 10/100 NIC to onboard sound. I believe the sound is CMI 9739 AC97 Codec provides 6 channels audio solution, so unless you have some sort of THX 7.1 system in mind the onboard will suffice and then some...
Now the appearance to some is not a big deal but seeing that a large number of people have some sort of window to show off there system it is important that boards are not only functional but easy on the eyes. SOYO does a fine job as noted above on the overall look of this product.. They don't go overboard with 10 different colored parts but they do use color to accent the product nicely.. Good Job SOYO...
We are going to use PCMark04 to run the performance part of this review. Now we also did a comparison study between the K7 series and the CK8 SOYO motherboards just to give you an idea of the difference between the chipsets... Comparison Links As you will see in both the results bellow and the comparison link this Board screams. With default settings the performance jumps almost 40% over the 2500+ K7 series SOYO board.. Take a extra look at the graphic rendering section this board did exceptionally well in this category. To get a better Idea of what I mean check the Comparison..
Main Test Results
Detailed Test Results
Now this test is only one aspect of performance there is always the aspect of real world usage. This is more ambiguous and you rely on my opinion more then pure numbers.. So my opinion when using this board is exceptional. I play games, one game in particular EverQuest. Now anyone that plays EverQuest knows how from time to time there is lag, as in all video intensive games, but with this new board I am able to run threw overpopulated areas and city zones with no skips or stutters. To add one better all the shading is on and every graphic extra as well... So from my point of view when playing not just EverQuest but Doom3, and GTA this board runs smooth and cool. The CPU has yet to go over 24(d) Celsius so even the graphic intense game play is a none issue.. I am glad to give over all performance of the CK8 by SOYO a Plus..
As you can see from our other reviews SOYO has provided a few product for us to evaluate.. The reason for this is simple, overall I have been well pleased with every product thus far so we enjoy looking at the products they provide. The CK8 is no exception as in the other SOYO motherboards the packaging and documentation is well designed and thought up.. The board itself has everything a gamer or PC builder needs.
Also as mentioned earlier the placement of everything on this board has had some thought put into it. For example the ATX power connector is in the top right corner. This is a great idea for one important reason anyone that has ever used an aftermarket cooler that is a little large and uses a board that places the ATX power connector on the left side of the CPU socket has run into the dilemma of figuring out how to keep the PSU power cord out of the way of the CPU cooler. SOYO has done things like this throughout the design showing they learn form past issues or setbacks for all board manufacturers...
The only thing I think would add to this product would be extra USB internal connectors. SOYO places 4 ports out the back or two interfaces, but if you use more then one internal device then you will need an add-on card.. But in SOYO's defense the overall marketing appears to be a cost effective solution so this is most likely the reason for only having one internal USB port to lower the cost to the consumer...
Documentation is well written and easy to follow
Performance is astounding.
Installation is a snap.
Well placed ports and board design.
Easy driver installation.
Price is comparable for the feature provided.
Only one internal USB port (I assume its to keep the price lower for the consumer)
Note the CK8 is a simple board there's not a ton of extras so if you want a dual SATA RAID controller or four USB internal controllers then this is not the board for you, but if what you really want is a cost effective solutions for the new 64bit systems that performs well and is easy to install then here you go.. SOYO has made another fine board. They definitely pass this review with flying colors... With very little negative points we are proud to give them a Perfect score the Editors Choice Trophy of Excellence for an all-around well made 64 bit motherboard designed for anyone from a beginner PC builder to a veteran modder.
Rating: 6 out of 6 Stars
Review Date 12/12/04
Reviewer pr101j (Paul)
Brazil Sales Office / RMA Center
Rua André Ampere 153 andar 17 sala 171/172
Brooklin Novo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.
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)
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