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SY-5EHM



Article was last modified in May, 1999.


SY-5EHM

  • ETEQ AGP Baby Mainboard
  • ETEQ socket 7 AGP chipset
  • 512Kb/1Mb L2 cache
  • Supports 100MHz host bus
  • Smart detect CPU voltage
  • PC97, ACPI, Ultra DMA/33
  • Switching voltage regulator
  • Multi-boot support
  • DMI (Desktop Management Interface) utility
  • Overheat alarm music
  • Supports AMD K6 write allocation and Cyrix MX Linear burst
  • Supports Wake On Lan Header
  • Supports both AT and ATX power connectors
  • Soyo's 5EHM is the company's first venture into the Super 7 market.  The 5EHM stands out from most other Super 7 boards in a number of ways however - the board boasts a very stable 112MHz FSB setting, up to a full 1MB of L2 cache, and the ETEQ 82C6638AT/6629 AGP chipset (don't let that name scare you though - the ETEQ AGI chipset is basically just a renamed version of VIA's popular MVP3 chipset, and is compatible with all of the same drivers).

    The Good

    Like I said, the board's 112MHz FSB setting is very stable (although my Corsair Microsystems PC100 SDRAM was somewhat flaky at 112MHz - turning the timings down from "Turbo" to "Normal" pretty much solved the problem). This allows for easy overclocking of the K6-2 and other Socket-7 CPU's, and will improve performance quite a bit (note: while running the board at 112MHz FSB, the PCI bus and AGP bus are also being overclocked - along with the RAM and the actual chipset.   There are many PCI peripherals, and even more AGP devices that do not like to be overclocked. Take this into consideration when overclocking, and purchasing add-on cards to go along with the 5EHM).

    Unlike most other Super 7 boards, the 5EHM uses simple little dip-switches, located at the top-left corner of the board (in the picture above), to change the bus frequency, and clock multiplier.  This is another feature that makes it very easy to overclock with the 5EHM, and allows the user to try many different settings without constantly pulling off and on jumpers.

    Another capability that this board has is the "Smart Detect" of the CPU Voltage. When the "Smart Detect CPU Voltage" jumper is capped, the board will automatically configure the voltage to meet your CPUs requirements. This, in combination with the easy-to-use dip-switches, makes the Soyo 5EHM a great board for beginners. Overclockers however, will most likely not use this feature, since overclocked CPUs will normally require more voltage to work at higher speeds.

    The 5EHM, like most other MVP3-based boards supports voltages from 2.0v to 3.5v in 0.1v increments (great for overclocking). All of the voltage settings are located in the online manual on the CD-ROM, and are clearly documented. Also, like other MVP3-based boards, the 5EH allows the user to run the RAM at the AGP frequency (66MHz) while still running the rest of the system at 100MHz FSB.  This allows users to save money, by sticking with their current RAM instead of upgrading to expensive PC100 SDRAM.

    The board also features an optional 1MB of L2 cache. This allows for caching of a full 256MB of RAM. On the other hand, the performance difference between 512kb and 1024kb (with less than 128MB of RAM) is not noticeable. However, since the extra L2 cache is only about $10 more, I recommend getting it to ensure future upgradability. And for those of you who have plans to upgrade to an ATX case in the future, the 5EHM has both AT & ATX power connectors (a feature that was left out of FIC's AT boards).

    The Bad

    The biggest downfall of this board is that it is ridiculously small. It has only 3 PCI and 3 ISA slots (1 shared, 1 full length PCI, 1 full-length ISA), which means that you'll only be able to fit five expansion cards in it, and I've already used up all five (LAN card, 3D card, Video card, Sound card, Modem - which are just typical peripherals that everone will have). This leaves very little room for upgradibility. Secondly, because the board has a Baby-AT form-factor, the CPU fan will get right in the way of two of the PCI cards. My Diamond Monster 3D would only fit in the last slot which just barely got around the CPU fan. Unfortunately, the CPU fan blocks both of the other two PCI slots, and my Matrox Millenium II is just barely fitting in - it is physically resting right up against the CPU fan.

    Conclusion

    The Soyo 5EHM is definitely one of the best (if not the best) AT Super 7 boards available. It's full megabyte of L2 cache, stable 112MHz bus speed, and low price (approx. $109), make it a clear winner in the Super 7 market.

    DESCRIPTION
    ETEQ AGP BABY AT Mainboard (w/AT&ATX power connectors)
    PROCESSOR
    Intel ZIF Socket 7
    Intel Pentium (MMX) Processor (90-233 MHz)
    Cyrix 6x86 (PR 150-266), and 6x86 MX and MII
    AMD K5 (PR 100-166), K6 (166-266 MHz) K6-2 300 MHz

    CHIPSET
    ETEQ 82C6638AT/6629 AGP chipset
    BUS SPEEDS
    60/66/75/83/90/100/112 MHz
    VOLTAGES
    2.0v to 3.5v in 0.1v increments
    L2 CACHE
    512/1024KB
    CLOCK MULTIPLIERS
    1.5x - 5.5x
    EXPANDABILITY
    1 x 32 bit AGP slot
    3 x 32 bit Bus Mastering PCI slots
    3 x 16 bit ISA slots (One shareable PCI/ISA slot)
    SECONDARY CACHE
    Write-Back cache controller
    512KB/1MB Pipeline Burst SRAM on board
    SYSTEM MEMORY
    2 x 168 pin DIMM memory slots
    2 x 72 pin SIMM memory slots
    Supports 8/16/32/64/128/256MB 168 pin modules
    Supports 4/8/16/32/64MB 72 pin modules
    Capable of maximum 576MB support
    I/O ON BOARD
    1 FDD port
    (supports LS120, 3mode, 1.2/1.44/2.88 FDD)
    2 RS-232 Serial Ports (16550 UART compatible)
    1 Parallel Printer Port (SPP/EPP/ECP mode)
    2 PCI Bus Mastering ATA E-IDE Ports, Supports LS120/ZIP
    2 USB Ports with optional cable
    PS/2 Mouse Port with optional cable
    IrDA Port with optional cable for transceiver
    BIOS (click here for the 5EH BIOS page)
    Award PCI BIOS with green, plug and play, NCR, SCSI and DMI functions
    Supports multi-boot from E-IDE, SCSI, CD-ROM, FDD, LS120 or ZIP
    1 Mbit Flash ROM
    BOARD SIZE
    4 Layer PCB, 22cm x 23cm, AT form factor
    OTHER FEATURES
    Supports MMX™ technology
    Supports 100MHz host bus
    PC97 ACPI spec. compliance
    Ultra DMA/33 or ATA E-IDE interface
    Smart detect CPU voltage
    Overheat alarm
    Wake up on Lan Header

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