Soyo P4I875P DRAGON 2 Platinum Edition - Page 2

..:: P4I875P DRAGON 2 “Platinum Edition” Product Package ::..

Since this is indeed our first in-house experience with a Soyo motherboard, we are not too familiar with the product packages. From what we have seen previously, the packages that are offered by Soyo are usually quite nice with the inclusion of several critical items, and some extras such as their “Sigma Box.” The package for the P4I875P DRAGON 2 PE is no different from those of the past; rather it has been updated and modified to meet the new standards for the DRAGON 2 line of motherboards. The product manual that is included is far and above one of the most detailed manuals that I have come across. The manual goes over every step of the install processors, from driver to driver, features a thorough description of the various BIOS options, and even features several pin-out diagrams of the onboard headers that could come into play for those of you with front USB or IEEE1394 ports.

To start things off on the hardware end, let’s get the simple components out of the way. The P4I875P DRAGON 2 PE comes along with four red SATA cables, three ATA/133/100 IDE cables, and one Floppy cable. The P4I875P DRAGON 2 PE also features a rear expansion bracket add-on for support of both S/PDIF input and output connections, whether they be via an RCA connection or a Toslink cable. The bracket also provides further support for surround sound speakers. Another minor item of note that I do not recall seeing included in a product package before, is a small packet of white thermal paste. Normally this would be included with the heatsink, however Soyo has chosen to go the extra mile, and include a packet of their own within the P4I875P DRAGON 2 PE package.

Next up, we have all of the hardware needed for use of Soyo’s Sigma Box. For those who are unfamiliar with the Sigma Box, this is a small unit that fits in either an open 5.25” or 3.5” drive bay which allows for connection of exterior items that would normally require being plugged into the rear I/O area of the computer system. The Sigma Box features dual USB 2.0 ports, both a type A and type B IEEE1394 port, along with a built-in compact flash card reader, along with support for reader a memory stick, or secure digital data device. This device also wields the capability of reading an IBM Micro drive. For those that aren’t too inclined to jump in and figure out how to install the Sigma Box, Soyo has included a fairly thorough manual that outlines all of the main features and installation instructions for the Sigma Box.

..:: P4I875P DRAGON 2 “Platinum Edition” Software Suite ::..

The software suite that is included with the P4I875P DRAGON 2 PE is one of the shining points for the motherboard. Included, you’ll find software such as Norton Antivirus 2003, Norton Personal Firewall 2003, and Norton Ghost 2003. All three of these programs would cost pretty penny retail, and are all extremely useful. The software suite also features Adobe ActiveShare, Acrobat Reader, and eBook Reader. The driver CD houses the drivers and software for the motherboard, so if you’re looking to find a driver, this would be the place to do it. When you first insert the disc into your CD-ROM, the main window will pop up asking you which motherboard and motherboard version you are running on. When you select which motherboard, a new window will pop up with a large listing of the available drivers that can be installed on the system. Overall the P4I875P DRAGON 2 PE comes along with a very nice and useful software suite.