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For Sempron and Athlon XP: Soyo KT880 Dragon 2


An ALi-made M5281 provides two UltraATA/133 pots and two SATA ports with RAID 0 and 1 functionality. The VT6307 offers two additional Firewire ports.

The board is generously equipped. It boasts two PATA slots and two SATA ports directly via the Southbridge VT8237. In addition, it features an ALi controller providing two additional PATA and SATA ports, respectively. It gets better: there's also Gigabit Ethernet, FireWire and 8x USB. Unfortunately, the package includes neither FireWire connectors nor cables for the remaining four USB ports.

At first glance, the board is legacy-free - no outdated components such as parallel or serial ports are to be found here. However, the package does come with a slot bracket providing a parallel and serial port. The board maker may have been better advised to install the ports on the board, and use the slot bracket for the FireWire and USB ports instead.

Users who set the "Performance" option to "Turbo" in their BIOS will overclock the FSB by about 5 MHz, resulting in a clock rate of 2,250 MHz (instead of 2,200 MHz). Also, with standard settings the KT880 Dragon 2 is slightly overclocked to 2,250 MHz, though that still lies within the norm.