In the Forums...
Posted: April 9th, 2002
Written by: Tuan Huynh
Back when VIA released their KT266 chipset for the Athlon, Soyo released a board that was extremely competitive and feature rich. The board was called the “K7V Dragon,” this board started the “Dragon” name that Soyo has been using for their performance boards ever since. Soyo’s Dragon series featured distinct a distinct color scheme of a black/brownish PCB with purple PCI slots that made it stand out from the other boards.
After success with the Dragon and Dragon Plus, Soyo expanded their Dragon line to boards that supports Pentium 4 processors. The first P4 Dragon board was the Dragon Ultra which featured the SIS645 chipset. The board was a great performer and featured attractive features and became a hit.
With the success of the line of Dragon board’s Soyo had, it’d only be a matter of time before Soyo would release a board based on Intel’s i845D chipset. After the happenings of September 11th (my condolences to everyone who lost family and/or friends because of the incident), Soyo decided to make the Dragon based on the i845D to show American Patriotism by making it sport the color scheme of the American Flag.
As you can see on the box, the box has a picture of an American Flag on it with the words “United We Stand” on it. Though this is a nice thought of patriotism, if you turn the box over, you’ll find Soyo’s address for their Taiwan offices?.
Let’s take a look at the board….
The board, named the P4I Fire Dragon is built on a beautiful red PCB with blue PCI slots and white IDE connectors. The board sports a nice and clean layout with the power connector located conveniently towards the edge of the PCB, which keeps the cable out of the way of the processor fan.
On the connector side of things, the Fire Dragon features the normal PS2, USB, Serial, Parallel, and Audio connectors, plus the edition of an Ethernet jack. The onboard Ethernet is an Intel 10/100 Pro VE which is better then most network cards you’ll find on the market for $15-20.
In terms of PCI expansion, the Fire Dragon features 6 PCI slots without any CNR or ACR slots, showing that this board is not geared towards OEM’s, but geared towards enthusiasts. All 6 PCI slots are blue and match with the Red PCB. The board features an AGP Pro slot for expensive high end graphics cards such as the 3D Labs Wild Cat that require much more power then traditional graphics cards.