Soyo P4S Dragon Ultra Plus Motherboard Review
The P4S Dragon Ultra itself is a very colour oriented system board; the PCB
is black, and each of the components has been colour coded for ease of
installation. The PCI slots are all purple, the IDE-RAID connectors are yellow
while the primary and secondary are blue and white respectively. The memory
DIMM's and FDD connector are both black, while the 4X AGP is brown and the
socket 478 Beige.
The Soyo P4S Dragon is based on
the SiS 645 chipset which was one of the first to bring DDR capabilities to the
Intel Pentium 4 platform. With a bus speed of 400MHz, and support for up to 3GB
of DDR333/DDR266/DDR200 memory there is plenty of room for power. Add to that
the onboard 5.1 channel audio, and 6 PCI slots and you have one very fully
featured motherboard. IDE RAID is taken care of with the highpoint controller
chipset, and unlike some earlier mPGA478 mainboards only one extra 4-pin 12V
power connector is required.
|Soyo P4S Dragon Ultra Plus Motherboard|
||Ships with the following:
- IDE ATA33 Cable
- IDE ATA66/100 Cable
- FDD Cable
- USB bracket
- Driver CD-ROM
- FastTrak100 Driver
- Norton Antivirus 2001
Around back we see a typical colour coded set of IO ports with two big exceptions - the USB ports are in a different location and there is an onboard RJ-45 Ethernet jack. A custom IO plate is shipped with the motherboard as standard cases will not be ready to accommodate the unique placement of ports.
Onboard 10/100 NIC is a blessing, and a bit of
a curse. After using the Soyo for a few weeks on a broadband connection we
experienced some problems with lost MAC addresses. However, everything was
solved by manually entering in a new MAC address in the BIOS.
Further rummaging through the box
made it seem like Soyo had included every possible accessory one could imagine. Along
with the 150 page manual came three sets of 80-pin IDE connectors, one FDD
cable, a driver CD and some decent bundled software (Adobe active share, Norton ghost, Norton
anti-virus). The best part was yet to come however as tucked under the cardboard supports was a front USB panel called the "Soyo Box", and the 6-channel super audio riser card. The
3.5" SB-P4SX Box comes with an adaptor to fit 5.25" bays and brings four USB ports
to the front of the case.
Within that adaptor box there are two small LED's which bring network activity lights up front. I can't help but think Soyo should have gone the extra step and
thrown in some audio jacks or at least an headphone port and volume wheel in there as
well like Abit has done with the MediaXP.
Incidently the USB ports on the Box connect to the
mainboard headers by two pairs of nice shielded cable. The super audio riser
comes with 6 ports (2x optical, 2x RCA, 2x mini headphone jack).