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Soyo K7VTA

The Board
  • VIA 8363 Northbridge (KT133)
  • VIA 686A Southbridge
  • 100MHz DDR FSB
  • 1.5GB Max RAM
  • Soyo Voice Doctor
  • Soyo Fan Off Control
  • UATA66
  • Multiplier adjustment
  • Voltage adjustment
  • 1/5/1 AGP(4X)/PCI/ISA
  • Onboard AC97 Audio
  • Socket 462 CPU
  • ATX Formfactor
  • Hardware monitoring


(+,-) $120USD

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This is the second board from Soyo we have had a look at this year. The 7VBA133 was an above average board that just didn't stand out enough for anyone to take notice. Looking to build on that performance with their latest Socket A design, Soyo went back to the drawing board and came knocking on our door with the K7VTA.

Based on the popular VIA KT133 chipset, the K7VTA does not introduce any new features that other makers do not have on the market. This means Soyo will have to make up in areas other than paper specifications to make this board a winner.




The Good

Upon popping open the usual Soyo box you will be greeted by a modest looking 9"x12" PCB. Featuring a 1/5/1 AGP/PCI/ISA configuration along with 3 DIMM slots, the K7VTA has nothing special on its' KT133 based competitors. But take a quick look to the left of the Socket and you will quickly realize that this is no average board. The one distinguishing feature of this board is a bank of no less than 10 1500uf capacitors and one large 3300uf.

We were quite happy to see that Soyo did not include an AMR connector on the board. The board is not being targeted towards OEM's. AMR expansion cards are hard to find and often turn out to be quite problematic. The included universal AGP slot is backwards compatible with all AGP standards, a definite plus for those who don't need a new video card as well. Finally, the one ISA slot is welcomed by those of us who still have ISA expansion cards, again saving an unnecessary upgrade.

Soyo took our complaints about the 7VBA to heart and corrected nearly all of our concerns with the new layout of the K7VTA. The memory can now be replaced without removing the AGP card and the socket release lever no-longer interferes with larger heatsinks.

At the heart of the board is VIA's 8363 North Bridge chip and the 686A South Bridge handles the IO duties. Dual UDMA 66 connectors are provided to handle IDE duties.Four USB ports are available for external expansion.

The Socket 462 is placed mid-board along the top edge with 3 DIMM slots to the right. There is adequate room around the socket for larger heatsinks. Our Global Win FOP38 has ~3/16" clearance from the capacitors. Heatsinks with large bases like the Golden Orb may still not have enough clearance.

As usual Soyo provides onboard audio via a Sigmatel AC97 codec. It's certainly not for gamers, but more than adequate for most other users. In our review of the Guillemot Maxi Sound Muse we sat down and benchmarked the performance of the Sigmatel codec and the results were very surprising. The onboard Soyo codec actually beat the Guillemot card in every test, ranging from 2-3X less CPU usage.


More Good