The all-in-one microATX mainboard has been around for several months now and found favor both with systems integrators and value PC OEMs and SOYO's new line of mainboards based on Intel's Whitney (i810) chipset may be cause for cheers in those markets. SOYO seems determined not only to maintain but also improve their stature as a top ten mainboard manufacturer and after a good hard look at the SY-7IWM/L it seems to me they are headed in the right direction. Easy to set up, easy to use and packed with features the SY-7IWM/L (a slight variation of the SY-7IWM) offers outstanding performance for the value PC arena.
I feel quite fortunate to receive pre-release hardware but as is sometimes the case the sample I received was devoid of documentation. Neither was there any to be found on the web for this particular flavor of the 7IWM line so describing what will ship along with the mainboard is somewhat a shot in the dark. SOYO will most
likely include floppy and standard IDE cables, an external COM port connector and a drivers disk as well as the Symantec 3-in-1 Bonus Pack (featuring OEM versions of Norton AntiVirus, Ghost and Virtual Drive). As to whether you can expect an AMR modem daughter card or an Ultra ATA/66 compliant ribbon cable lets not leap to conclusions.
The SY-7IWM/L supports up to 16 selectable sets of system and PCI clock speeds inside the BIOS directly, using their innovative SOYO Combo Setup BIOS feature, allowing for easy, no-jumper/dipswitch configuration. The i810 (82810-DC100) chipset supports external CPU speeds from 66MHz up to 150MHz so future upgradability is practically assured as long as Intel continues to promote the PPGA370 Celeron. The chipset handles CPU core voltage configuration automatically so the SY-7IWM/L is virtually jumper-free but can be adjusted within the BIOS making it overclocking
friendly. Three DIMM slots allow you to incorporate up to 512MB of SDRAM system memory (ECC compliant using parity SDRAM). Expansion may seem somewhat limited at first with only 3 32-bit PCI v2.2 Bus Master slots and 1 AMR riser slot available but take into account that the board comes with onboard sound and video. If you take advantage of the AMR modem slot this leaves all three PCI slots available for more than enough expansion in a value PC. The SY-7IWM/L takes very good advantage of the i810's incorporated AGP graphics memory controller hub but unlike others in its line does not provide the extra 4MB display cache onboard. Still it provides an integrated 24 bit 230 MHz RAMDAC, hyper-pipelined 3D graphics with texturing and visual enhancement up to 1024 x 768 x 16 @ 85 Hz refresh and motion video
acceleration. More on that later...
Also different from others in the line, the SY-7IWM/L uses Cirrus Logic's Crystal audio controller rather than the Aureal A3D PCI audio chip for reasonably good if somewhat CPU resource intensive sound quality. Also onboard you'll find two dual channel PIO mode 4, Ultra ATA 33/66 IDE interfaces to support up to four IDE/ATAPI devices.
The board has 2 USB ports and uses Winbond W83627HF LPC I/O chip to support two RS-232 serial ports (16550 UART compatible), one parallel printer port (SPP/EPP/ECP mode), an FDD port which supports LS120,mode 3, 1.2/1.44/ and 2.88MB FDDs. It also features Award's PCI 4 Mbit Flash ROM BIOS with green, ACPI, APM, PnP, DMI functions and is Y2K compliant. The SY-7IWM supports onboard hardware monitoring (Nine on-board voltage monitors for CPU Vcore, VTT, +5v, -5V, +12V, -12V, 3.3V, 5VSB and battery and precision CPU temperature monitoring through CPU on-die thermal diode) and includes the Hardware Doctor Utility to streamline your PC system management, WOL (Wake On LAN) function to simplify network management, software power off control, power-on by keyboard, power-on by alarm, Modem Ring On, power failure resume function, Suspend to RAM and even USB Keyboard Wakeup.
Is so easy that even without any documentation I was up and running in a matter of minutes. I did have some trouble configuring the onboard sound because I was unaware that the /L version of the 7IWM did not use the A3D drivers but other than that everything on the board was right where it should be and was easily accessible even with my fat fingers.
Configuration for SOYO
PPGA Celeron 400/466MHz
Corsair CM 654S64-BX2
Digital Expert 9.1G
Ultra ATA/66 7200RPM
Integrated AGP 1024K Shared Memory
Business Performance in Windows
Powered by the i810 chipset and the Celeron's 128KB on-chip cache the
SY-7IWM/L offers excellent performance in business applications. Ziff-Davis'
Winstone 99 benchmark application showed absolutely no deviation across three
runs using each processor. Below are average scores