Just a few months ago, AnandTech took a look at Soyo's challenge to the ABIT BH6, the SY-6BA+III. It promised to offer all the tweaking options of the BH6, including BIOS based voltage adjustments that has been a boon for overclockers looking to squeeze every last bit out of their CPU's. The SY-6BA+III did just that and we concluded that it would be an excellent alternative to the ABIT regime and it even offered some additional features, including a plethora of FSB speeds that we had never seen before.

But times have changed. ABIT has come back with the BE6 and BP6 as their premier boards for overclockers. Both of these boards added onboard Ultra ATA 66 support through the use of HighPoint's HPT366 Ultra ATA 66 controller as well as an increase number of FSB settings that surpassed the mark set by Soyo.

Soyo's response? The SY-6BA+IV, of course, the sequel to the SY-6BA+III. Taking a page from ABIT's book, they added even more FSB settings and added the same HPT366 controller ABIT selected for their boards. Once again, Soyo goes toe to toe with ABIT. Let's find out how Soyo does in the face of the new competition from ABIT.

New Anand Tech Report Card Rating
Do not compare newer ratings to older ones, the newer ratings are much more aggressive

Motherboard Specifications

CPU Interface Slot-1
Chipset Intel i440BX
L2 Cache N/A (on-chip)
Form Factor ATX
Bus Speeds

66 / 75 / 81 / 83 / 90 / 95
100 / 105 / 110 / 112 / 113 / 115
117 / 118 / 120 / 122 / 124 / 126
133 / 135 / 137 / 138 / 140 / 142
144 / 150 / 155MHz

Clock Multipliers 2.0x - 9.0x
Voltages Supported Auto Detect
(may be increased by
2.5%, 5%, 7.5%, and 10%)
Memory Slots 4 168pin DIMM Slots
Expansion Slots 0 AMR Slots
1 AGP Slot
5 PCI Slots (5 Full Length)
2 ISA Slots (1 Shared / 0 Full Length)
BIOS Award 4.51PG

The Good

Just like with the SY-6BA+III, the SY-6BA+IV is nearly identical to the earlier versions of the SY-6BA. The 5/2/1 (PCI/ISA/AGP) slot configuration remains. Add in a full 4 DIMM slots and expansion options are plentiful. The most obvious difference is the inclusion of the HighPoint HPT366 Ultra ATA 66 controller in front of the PCI slots and the subsequent addition of two additional IDE ports to support that controller.

The layout of the SY-6BA+IV is also virtually identical, with the ATX spec followed closely, for the most part. The exception is the placement of the ATX power connector behind the Slot-1 connector, which forces that cable to run over the CPU and memory slots, cluttering up the inside of the case. Otherwise, all HDD/FDD connectors are located where they should be, right at the front of the board. The board itself is a little longer than your average ATX board, but nothing that should cause any problems for most cases.

Three fan connectors are available - two right next to the CPU slot, and one at the left front of the board. Eight 1000uF capacitors are located immediately around the CPU slot with several other capacitors sparsely placed all over the board. Two large 1500uF capacitors accompanied by two toroidal inductors help keep the juice flowing to the memory slots. The standard green heatsink is mounted via spring clips and is adorned with the Soyo logo. A built in, fold down universal CPU retention mechanism comes preinstalled on the board and will hold any Celeron, Pentium II, or Pentium III CPU. Finally, a small green LED next to the DIMM slots indicates that ATX standby power is connected.

Just like the SY-6BA+III, the SY-6BA+IV features the "Soyo Combo Setup" where most important settings are found. Control over FSB, CPU ratio, AGP ratio, core voltage, and hardware monitoring all found in this section. Notably, Soyo has added an option for cache latency control to keep up with ABIT's plethora of tweaking options. The default is reported, but any setting from 1 to 15 can be selected. FSB settings of 66 / 75 / 81 / 83 / 90 / 95 / 100 / 105 / 110 / 112 / 113 / 115 / 117 / 118 / 120 / 122 / 124 / 126 / 133 / 135 / 137 / 138 / 140 / 142 / 144 / 150 / 155MHz are all available, just like the SY-6BA+III. Once again, that's more than any other board to make it's way into the AnandTech labs. This offers incredible flexibility when pushing a CPU to its absolute limits.

More Good
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