Soyo KT400A Dragon

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

Layout

Soyo motherboards have always had one of the most well-rounded layouts and feature sets of the Athlon platform. The processor socket on the board is a bit cramped but Soyo has left a gap in the capacitors on the left side of the socket to allow for some moderately sized heatsinks to be installed safely. They also kept the four mounting holes on the motherboard to keep the hardcore overclockers happy.

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The 3 DIMM slots on the board are located way to close to the processor socket. In order to remove the heatsink or install it, all the memory had to be removed from the system. While it isn’t a huge deal, it is definitely something that I would label as an annoyance. The north bridge is cooled by a heatsink and fan keeping the temperature low for overclocking potential. The ATX power connector is located near the external connectors, keeping it out of the way of the rest of the components.

The RAID IDE ports are located at the far bottom of the board with the floppy connector, leaving the primary and secondary IDE ports near the top. The Soyo KT400A board is the only one reviewed here to offer an AGP Pro slot along with a corresponding 4-pin power connector for feeding power to starved AGP cards. Below that are five purple colored PCI slots.

Features

As for features, the Soyo board doesn’t disappoint. I already mentioned that they have IDE RAID on-board via the High Point chipset, but the Dragon KT400A also includes 6 USB 2.0 ports, Smartcard reader ports, SPDIF audio out with 6-channel audio support as well as an on-board 10/100 network adaptor.

Included Extras

Just as with the Abit motherboard, we didn’t receive the retail packaging of this motherboard so we can’t judge what you’ll get if you buy the KT400A Dragon motherboard.

Bios

The bios on the Soyo motherboard comes with a lot of features. This first shot shows you the settings you can change including FSB up to 255 MHz as well as a CPU to PCI divider. However, from our tests, this didn’t allow the KT400A chipset to run the 200 MHz FSB processors any more reliably than the other motherboards. The CPU ratio can be adjusted up to 18.0x. The CPU Vcore can be set as high as 1.85v while the DDR voltage can be upped to 2.8v and the AGP voltage can go to 1.8v.

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And here you can see the different memory timings that are available on the Soyo board.

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