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Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra Review - Features

With so many VIA KT333 motherboards on the market today, or ones which are about to be released, for the buyer it could be a hard task to choose which board to go with. These days there is not a great deal of real-world performance difference between motherboards using the same chipsets, which means manufactures are having to be more clever with the features they include and things which count, like software bundles. Today Asher "Acid" Moses takes a look at one of these new KT333 boards, the feature-packed Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra to be exact. Does it have the stuff to seat your AMD processor? Read on, as that is the only way you're going to find out!

| Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: May 7, 2002 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 10.%Manufacturer: Soyo

- Features

 

The KT333 Dragon Ultra includes a whole range of features that deserve a mention in this review. Firstly, it features ATA133 RAID support through a Highpoint HPT372 controller. This controller allows for RAID 0, 1 and 0+1 configurations, and supports up to 4 IDE devices. Like many, I have always preferred the quality of HighPoint's RAID controllers over alternatives such as Promise and it was pleasing to see Soyo include a Highpoint controller on the KT333 Dragon Ultra.

 

 

The board also features USB 2.0 support through the popular VIA VT6202 controller. The controller supports up to 4 USB 2.0 ports and although there aren't many USB 2.0 devices on the market at the moment, it is great for those of you that require a future-proof system.

 

 

Adding to the list of features is a 10/100 ethernet port. This is provided through a Realtek RTL8100B controller and actually performed quite well during testing. It is certainly a welcome addition for those that cannot afford a PCI network card or just want a temporary solution.

 

 

To round off the list of integrated features, Soyo also decided to include a CMedia CMI8738 audio controller on the KT333 Dragon Ultra. This controller supports 6-channel audio and features full 5.1 surround sound support. This is certainly much higher quality than the regular AC97 controller we are used to seeing included with many motherboards and is more than sufficient for most users on a budget, except the most hardcore audiophiles of course.

 

As mentioned earlier, the board comes with an addition bracket that enables the extra sound ports provided through the CMedia controller. These include SPDIF IN, SPDIF OUT and optical outputs.

 

 

 

One thing that I really liked about the board was that it was packaged with an extra USB panel called the SB-P4SX. This panel enables the four USB 2.0 ports provided on the board and is backwards compatible with USB 1.1. It also features two LEDs, one that indicates network activity and the other for USB activity. The panel can be installed into either a 3 1/2" drive bay or a 5 1/4" drive bay.

 

 

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