Soyo KT600 DRAGON Ultra PE - Page 3

..:: KT600 DRAGON Ultra Layout ::..

The Soyo KT600 Dragon Ultra Platinum is based on the industry standard ATX form factor and is outfitted with their popular and successful Platinum color theme. I have to admit, when Soyo released the KT266A Dragon motherboard out into the wild, one reason I purchased it was because of the attractive colors it shined through a windowed case.

The processor socket on the KT600 Platinum is oriented in a east to west direction and has a huge, clean area to work with when installing a large heatsink. Soyo places some of the largest strips of clear plastic I have ever seen under each side of the socket heatsink clips to protect the KT600 Platinum if the screwdriver slips or the heatsink scrapes the motherboard during installation. You will also notice that four heatsink mounting holes have been punched out around the socket for those crazy folks. Between the socket and the I/O back panel, the KT600 Platinum is equipped with a 3-phase power solution.

Beneath the processor socket is the VIA KT600 northbridge. This chip is actively cooled by an aluminum heatsink and a translucent fan. The fan does make a small whining sound, so if you try and replace it, more than likely you will have to remove the heatsink along with it. Just make sure you do not hit any capacitors when removing the heatsink, because the thermal tape sure does have a tight grip.

I really wish manufactures would stop using thermal tape, especially on their high-end boards. Mainly because of the description above to damaging the motherboard when the heatsink needs replacing, but it also can be very difficult to get the rest of the tape off the chip after the heatsink is removed.

The main ATX power connector resides to the left of the northbridge. Surely not an ideal location, because it can slow down the exhaust of hot air if the ATX cable is not tucked away properly. But don't be too careful about tucking away the cable. You could possible burn a wire if one is resting on a 3-phase power chip. Under the main ATX connector is the Broadcom BCM5705K Gigabit ethernet chip, unusually equipped with a small aluminum heatsink to help cool it as well.