Overclocking, RAID and System Setup

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

The IDE RAID solution on the Soyo Dragon Plus motherboard is provided by the Promise 20265R chip. This is the most commonly used chipset for IDE RAID on today’s motherboards, but there are a few different ways in which they work on those boards. My preferred way is for the RAID bios to allow the user to enable RAID on the IDE3 & 4 ports or to allow to be used merely as extra ATA/100 ports and having no RAID options on at all. Fortunately, the Soyo K7V Dragon Plus uses this kind of Promise bios. Some other motherboard manufacturers have chosen to use the FastTrak bios’, which do NOT allow the user to simply add extra IDE devices to the IDE3 & IDE4 channels. There are several work arounds for this including setting up single drive RAID arrays or using a modified bios, none of which I can 100% guarantee. Potential Dragon Plus purchasers will be glad to know their board is on the better side of this debate.

Overclocking on the Soyo Dragon Plus was quite successful. In fact, of all the KT266A boards I have reviewed thus far, this one performed the best. Soyo has included multiplier options up to 15x, FSB options up to 200 MHz and Vcore options up to 1.85v.

Using the Athlon XP 1800+ processor and a standard Tai Sol Copper Bottom HSF I was able to get the FSB to overclock to 171 MHz or 342 MHz DDR. This ties the previous winner in the category – the Epox 8KHA+. I wasn’t able to break the 1.7 GHz level at the high of a front-side bus, but lowering it down the 166 MHz I reached the top speed on the board of 1743 MHz. That is 10.5 x 166 MHz. Not a bad performance at all.

Here are the test system setups and the benchmarks used:

Test System Setup
CPU 1 x 1.53 GHz AMD Athlon XP 1800+ Processor
Motherboards Soyo Dragon Plus
Shuttle AK31 Rev3
nForce Reference Board
Memory 1 x 256MB TwinMOS PC2100 DDR DRAM
Hard Drive 20.5GB 7200 RPM IBM EIDE
Video Card GeForce 3
Video Drivers Detonator 22.40
Operating System Windows XP

Tests:

Quake III: Arena
3DMark 2001
SiSoft Sandra Memory Bench
SiSoft Sandra CPU Bench
Content Creation Winstone 2001
Business Winstone 2001
4 different SPEC view perf tests
Cachemem
ScienceMark
Sysmark 2001

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