Upon removing the board from the box, the first thing I noticed was Soyo's choice of colours. The board features a black PCB with contrasting purple PCI slots, yellow IDE RAID headers and light green USB 2.0 connectors. While this won't mean much for most of you, if you have modified your case to feature a window in the side-panel, having coloured components goes a long way to making your PC look way prettier than the boring brown PCBs that we've had to put up with in the past.
The KT333 Dragon Ultra features a slot layout of 5 PCI, 1 AGP and 3 DIMM. This should be sufficient for most of you, however, it would have been nice to see an extra PCI or DIMM slot included, like we have seen on boards from other manufacturers such as Abit. The lack of CNR/AMR/ISA slots show that this board is directed solely towards the enthusiast market, rather than the OEM market.
There is plenty of room around the CPU socket for any large heatsink/fan units you may have. Also worth noting are the four holes around the socket that are used to attach heatsink/fan units that do not use the conventional mounting mechanism. Plastic sheets have been placed below the lugs on each side of the socket to ensure that you do not damage the motherboard whilst installing a heatsink/fan unit.
The ATX power connector is well placed so that your power cables do not run over the top of the heatsink/fan unit, restricting airflow. The IDE and Floppy connectors were also logically placed so that they are not in the way of the PCI slots and can be easily reached.
Cooling the KT333 northbridge is the typical heatsink/fan unit that we are used to seeing on previous boards in the Dragon series. Although an active cooler is not required for the KT333 northbridge, it was a thoughtful inclusion by Soyo to ensure stability at overclocked speeds.
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