iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra (Platinum Edition) VIA KT333 

This one more top-end board has excellent functionality and accessories. 


  • Package of a stylish design with a handle; 
  • Documentation: user manual in English; 
  • Cables: 3 ATA66/100/133 and FDD; 
  • Bracket with audio-outs and SPDIF TosLink and Coaxial connectors; 

  • Panel with USB 2.0 connectors and a CF flash card reader; 

  • Bracket for the rear panel; 
  • 2 CD with: 
    • drivers; 
    • user manual; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • Adobe ActiveShare; 
    • Norton Antivirus 2002; 
    • AutoSave; 
    • Norton Ghost; 
    • ImageMore; 
    • InterVideo WinDVD; 
    • Soyo Mighty Bolt (protection from unauthorized access controlled with flash cards); 
    • DirectX 8.1. 

A great number of external controllers and their connectors made the layout quite complicated: IDE RAID connectors are behind the PCI slots, audio-ins are between the PCI slots and the power connector is between the socket and the rear panel of the board; above all, some connectors are located next to the left edge of the board. It's not difficult to reach some jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are shown on the textolite.   

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 9 capacitors of 3300 uF and 5 of 1500 uF. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the C-Media CMI8738/PCI-6ch-MX chip supporting 5.1 audio systems and with a connector for front audio-outs, and with an SPDIF-In connector; 
  • network controller based on the Realtek RTL8100B chip, with the 10BaseT/100BaseTX supported; 
  • IDE RAID controller based on the HighPoint HPT372 chip, RAID 0, 1, 0+1 supported, ATA133 protocol; 
  • USB 2.0 bus controller based on the VIA VT6202 chip. 
The board has an additional power connector that ensures a correct operation of a video card inserted into the AGP Pro slot. +5 V supplied in the StandBy mode is indicated with a green LED on the board. 

Non-unsoldered connectors: none. 

The system monitoring is supported by the ITE IT8705F chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, +3.3, +5 and +12 V, memory and AGP bus; 
  • speed of 2 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (sensor built in into the socket) and the board (a built-in sensor). 
There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 1 for unadjustable connection of fans. 

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 3 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 5 PCI; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 4 USB 1.1/ 4 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x245 mm. 

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
Jumper to enable/disable USB 2.0 controller  
BIOS based on the AwardBIOS 6.00PG version from Phoenix Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Bank Interleave, Precharge to Active, Active to Precharge, Active to CMD, Queue Depth, Command Rate
Setup of memory frequency + By SPD, 100, 133 and 166 MHz steps
Setup of AGP bus +  
Setup of PCI bus +  
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses -  
Manual assignment of interrupts -  
Changeable FSB frequency + 100-200 MHz in 1 MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier + x6-x14
Changeable core voltage + 1.1-1.85V in 0.025V steps
Changeable memory voltage + Default, 2.6, 2.7 and 2.8 V steps
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage + Default, 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8 V steps

We used the latest available version of the BIOS - 2AA2. 

The board has a wide range of various features, but it can't boast of a high speed. However, with such a bunch of capabilities overclocking must help it catch up with its competitors or even outscore them. 

Test results: 

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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