Taking A Closer Look
- Packaging and Software Bundle
As you can see from the above image, the board comes packaged in a rather large, white box that features a small plastic handle, quite similar to the one Abit are using with their AT7 motherboard packaging. I'm not sure how useful this handle will be for the majority of you, as you will most likely be either ordering the board online or carrying it from the store to your car. However, in my opinion it was a smart move marketing-wise because it gives Soyo a bit of free advertising if someone actually does decide to walk up the road carrying the box by its handle instead of placing it in some sort of bag.
Upon opening the box you are greeted with quite a few goodies. These include a detailed User's Manual, a driver CD, three ATA33/66/100/133 cables, a floppy cable, a packet of thermal compound, a bracket that enables the extra onboard sound ports and a 8 in 1 Bonus Pack CD. This CD includes a range of popular utilities, namely Norton Antivirus 2002, Norton Ghost 2002, Adobe ActiveShare, Vcom Autosave, Acrobat ebook Reader, Acrobat Reader, ImageMore and WinDVD.
Also included with the board is a USB panel that can either go into a 3 1/2" or 5 1/4" drive bay. This panel enables four extra USB 1.1/2.0 ports and is very useful for those of you that own a lot of USB devices or just don't want to reach around the back of your case every time you want to install/uninstall a USB device. I will be talking about this panel in greater detail a bit later on in the review.