Soyo DRAGON 2 V1.0 Black Label - Page 3

..:: P4I875P DRAGON 2 V1.0 Layout: Socket Area ::..

Since we’re taking a look at the “Black Label” version of the P4I875P DRAGON 2 V1.0, the first thing that will jump out at the consumer dealing with the visual looks of the motherboard has to be the stylish black PCB. The board also features several capacitors that wield silver and black reflective markings which add an amount of flashiness to it. As we noted with the original “Platinum Edition” motherboard, Soyo has always pushed out some very elegant designs and color schemes with their high-end products, and they certainly break out of the common mold of manufacturers who seem to just want to add color, yet not attempt to co-ordinate it to make a solid product visually. The other aesthetic feature that sticks out on these motherboards is, of course, the purple DIMM’s and PCI slots, along with the bright yellow IDE connectors and bright red IEEE1394 headers along the bottom portion of the PCB.

Unlike several of the Pentium 4 “Prescott” motherboards we have dealt with as of late, the processor socket on the P4I875P DRAGON 2 V1.0 is not oriented lengthwise from north to south, rather from east to west. There is a long string of various capacitors lining the top edge of the processor retention mechanism and PCB that will be used to supply the processor with the necessary current. Capacitors are used to resist sudden changes in voltage. This allows for the voltage across the processor to remain within a given tolerance and keep everything protected from sudden voltage spikes.

To the right of the retention mechanism, we come across three fan power connectors, two CPU fan connections, and a single connection for one of the chassis fans. This is the first time from remembrance that I have seen a board sport two CPU fan connections, other than the "Platinum Edition" of this motherboard. This is a welcome feature for those users with fans that require a power connection for thermal readings and for the fan, while another connection is needed for proper RPM monitoring. Each of these connectors should be easily accessible, even though there is one large capacitor to their right.

To the left of the processor socket area, we next come across the core components of the P4I875P DRAGON 2 V1.0‘s core voltage supply, namely more input / output capacitors as well as four inductors. The inductors that also call this area home serve to resist any sudden changes in current, yet another important factor. Inductors naturally create a force against the flow of current until they reach equilibrium, so if there is ever a spike in current the inductors will create a force against the current to smooth out the sudden spike. The P4I875P DRAGON 2 V1.0 provides a four-phase power solution driving two FET’s per phase useing a pairing of the Intersil ISL6556BCB with two HIP6602BCB’s for phase control, over / under voltage monitoring, and for driving the FET’s. The 6556BCB chip controls the voltage for the processor, and allows for up to 4 buck channels, a 6-Bit VID, and features integrated temperature compensation. Due to the 6-Bit VID input, this allows for voltages between .8375V to 1.600V in 12.5mV steps. The 6602BCB chip is the MOSFET driver which drives both gates in a range of 5V to 12V.