Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra Black
KT333 socket A DDR333

Friday, May 24, 2002


Introduction

Soon after their release of the K7V Dragon (based on the KT266 chipset), Soyo began preparing for a big follow-up: the introduction of the Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra Black Edition. As its name suggests, the Dragon Ultra B.E. is based on the VIA KT333 chipset. As a result, it comes with built-in support for both ATA133 drives, and DDR333 memory. The good vibes don't stop there of course. After all, Soyo's Dragon series of mobos have always been known for their Overclocking potential, and the Dragon Ultra Black edition. hasn't broken with that tradition. Extras are the name of the game too, as Soyo has gone out of its way to gift its newest baby with numerous enhancements. These include an integrated 10/100Base-T Ethernet controller, a six-channel C-Media 5.1 sound-chip, a RAID 0-1 controller, and USB 2.0 ports; a tough line-up to beat, to be sure.

So, without further ado, let's say we dispense with the intro, and head-in to the meat of our analysis, shall we?

Characteristics of the Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra Black
CPU
Supports AMD Socket-A type processors,
including AthlonXP, Athlon and Duron (up to 2200+)
Chipset
VIA KT333 + VT8233A
Form factor
ATX - 30.5cm X 24.5cm
Expansion
5 PCI - 0 ISA - 0 CNR - 1 AGP Pro - 6 USB
Memory
3X 184-pin DIMM 3Gb DDR SDRAM PC1600 - PC2100 - PC2700
FSB
100Mhz to 233Mhz in steps of 1Mhz
Vcore adj.
1.1v to 1.85v in steps of 0.025v
Dram/AGP
DDR V adj. = 2.5v, 2.6v. 2.7v 2.8v, AGP V adj. = 1.5v, 1.6v. 1.7v 1.8v
Audio chipset
C-Media CMI 8738


Audio

The Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra's sound capabilities are provided by an integrated C-Media CMI8738 audio-chip. The CMI8738 supports 5.1 speaker-configurations, with 4 to 6 lines-out, including a central base channel.

As part of its standard equipment, the KT333 Dragon Ultra also includes the ability to treat incoming and outgoing digital & SPDIF signals via double optic, gold-plated RCA jacks.

From a sound standpoint, the C-Media¨ CMI8738 has very little to envy of other audio-chips. It supports up to 32 polyphonic voices, EAX effects, and supports both Microsoft DirectSound 3D, and Aureal A3D.

As we've mentioned before, the CMI8738 is head and shoulders above the audio circuitry that is typically included as part of most VIA chipsets, and its sound reproduction is simply excellent. Whether you're playing MP3s, CDs, or 3D games, the CMI8738's sound quality will often surprise you with its fidelity.



Configuration

Configuration of the Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra is a purely jumperless affair; there are no on-board jumpers directly related to the CPU.

Adjustment of the processor, and related systems is done primarily through the "Soyo Combo Setup" menu within the BIOS.

Once there, users will be presented with a number of options, the most important of which is the ability to set the FSB frequency to between 100Mhz and 233Mhz in 1Mhz increments.

Next, tweakers will find the much sought-after ability to adjust the Vcore, DDR, and AGP voltages, which can be set to any of the values indicated in the table above.

The clock multiplier setting, for its part, is also configurable, and can be set to between 6X and 14X.

The independent memory bus can also be adjusted to operate at 100Mhz, 133Mhz, or 166Mhz from within the same menu.

Last but not least, the KT333 Dragon Ultra includes options related to a number of memory timing values. In the Dragon Ultra's case, however, these options are located in the "Soyo Combo Setup" menu, under the "Advanced Tune-up Settings" sub-menu. Within said menu, users will find a number of options that will allow them to tweak the performance of their memory sub-systems.



Notes

The KT333 Dragon Ultra is also available in a Platinum edition. There are two differences between the Black edition and the Platinum edition as follow: First: The Paltinum edition has Bonus Sigma Box (SB-P4SX) featuring four front USB 2.0 ports on the black unit is replaced with the Bonus Sigma Box (SB-K7VXBP) featuring Combination Compact Flash/Smart Media reader/writer & two front USB 2.0 ports in the Platinum edition.Second: Soyo claims the Platinum edition has Special PCB color with heat dissipation effect.

Index:

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