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Soyo 6VCA Motherboard Review

Soyo 6VCA Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Soyo 6VCA is a good board because of the support in VIA133A products with Bios upgrades that allow for faster memory scores... but see for yourself!
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Soyo Jun 29 2000   Bao Ly  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Soyo 6VCA

Motherboard Features:

The Soyo 6VCA is powered by the VIA 133A chipset (VT82C694X Northbridge, and VT82C686A Southbridge.)  It supports every single Intel Slot1 processor and every single PPGA or FCPGA (with a socket to slot adapter.)  The range includes the Pentium II line (233-450,) the Celeron line (266-700,) and the Pentium III line (450-1Ghz+.)  For expansion, users will find a single 4X AGP compliant expansion slot, as well as a single ISA and AMR slot.  To round it all up, there are five PCI slots.  The inclusion of the AMR slot is a questionable one, especially since there is onboard sound.  Therefore the AMR would probably used for a modem, however, a cheap WIN HSP modem can be purchased for a measly $23 CDN / $15.55 USD.  I do not have pricing on AMR modems, but I doubt that it would be much cheaper than $23 bucks.  In anycase, the AMR doesn't bother me THAT much (it just makes no sense to have one there in the first place,) you can put a slot cooler in there, if you really want to use up the slot for something useful.  

There are three DIMM sockets, that can support up to 512MB per socket.  Thus the total memory that the 6VCA can hold is 1.5GB.  Having only three DIMM slots is reasonable, since most users only need 128MB - 256MB, and I find that most people upgrade in 128MB increments only, therefore three DIMM sockets seems ample. 

Soyo has made a surge in recent months to become one the overclocking motherboard makers.  They provided the flexibility and overclocking prowress of Abit's offerings, as well as offering near Asus-quality in the realm of stability.  We will test those claims later, for now, let's take a look at the Front Side Bus frequencies available on the 6VCA.  In the Soyo Combo setup option within the BIOS, you can configure your clock multipliers (which does not really matter these days, as this value is locked on the CPU and changing it to the proper or incorrect value gives the same result.)  Most importantly, the FSB frequencies are: 66, 68, 75, 80, 83, 85, 90, 95, 100, 103, 105, 109, 112, 114, 115, 118, 120, 124, 126, 129, 133, 135, 138, 140, 141, 143, 145, 147, 150, 154, 160, and finally 166Mhz .  While some may find these choices a bit limiting, I find that they offer a nice balance of sensible values that I might be able to use.  As a neat performance enhancing "trick" the 133A chipset allows for memory speeds to be enhanced by 33Mhz within the BIOS.  Under Advanced Chipset features, you can set the RAM speed to be either at PCI clock -33, PCI clock, or PCI clock +33.  I naturally always enable the +33 setting to squeeze out some extra memory bandwidth.        

Soyo has also implemented the Suspend-to-RAM (STR) feature.  Suspend to RAM is a Windows '98 ACPI function.  It basically allows the system to go into sleep mode, with the RAM holding the last "state" of the system.  STR allows the system to return quickly back to its last "state" from the "state" that was stored into RAM at the moment that the system went into sleep mode.  While some may like this feature, I have no use for it whatsoever.

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Contents of Article: Soyo 6VCA
 Pg 1.  Soyo 6VCA Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — Motherboard Features:
 Pg 3.  Onboard Features:
 Pg 4.  Overclocking the Soyo...
 Pg 5.  Final results

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