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Slot-1 VIA Motherboard Update

Soyo SY-6VCA

Board Revision: ?

BIOS Version: 2AA2 (April 11, 2000)

I have to admit that I already gave up hope that any board would perform as good as the Asus P3V4X. It was good to see that there's another one which heads towards the very top. Soyo's actual VIA Apollo Pro 133A motherboard is even faster than the Asus in Windows NT. In all other benchmarks, it scores second best.

The board comes with five PCI and one ISA slot. Soyo decided to include the AMR slot as well. I'm not sure if it's ever going to be used... usually another PCI slot is much more valuable. The placement of the FDD connector is a bit unlucky, as the floppy cable will have to run directly over the graphics card. Thanks to the 'big' south bridge (VT82C686A), the board does not require an I/O chip. AC97 sound has also been integrated.

Soyo did only include two fan headers, which should still be enough for most users. Most competitors come with three, while only the Tyan board comes with four. Of course the 6VCA does also know WOL and WOM and comes with two additional USB ports. To make use of them, you will have to buy a connector cable just as with the ABit board.

According to the manual, the board supports up to 3x 512 MBytes SDRAM (a total of 1.5 GBytes). Most users do appreciate a comprehensive manual, as configuring a motherboard is something which most people normally don't do that often. Everything important is included, but detailed installation and configuration instructions would make this great product even better.

After all, this board left quite a good impression. All I can say is keep up the good work!