Posted: April 9th, 2002
Written by: Tuan Huynh
On the right corner of the board, you’ll be able to find the Highpoint HPT372 controller that provides ATA133/ATA133 RAID support as well as the front panel connectors. Since the board is called the FIRE Dragon, there are two onboard Firewire ports. One port is located internally right next to the IDE connectors for the RAID contsoller, while one is routed up to the front of the case in the Z-Box (more about this later on). Firewire support is provided by a Texas Instruments controller which is one of the most common integrated Firewire controllers available.
Right next to the AGP Pro slot, you’ll find a connector for a normal 12 volt power connector typically used for hard drives and CD-Rom’s. This connector is required to be plugged in as it is how the Firewire ports draw their power for powered Firewire devices.
Atop the Intel i845D Northbridge, you’ll find a stylish silver heat sink that features an image of the American Flag in the shape of the US. This adds a touch of class and makes the boards look nice as well as cool the Northbridge.
Flipping the board over and looking directly where the processor heat sink mounts were to be, Soyo has taken the added time to install an X-Shaped metal plate type thing that keeps the board from bending when installing a heat sink. This is very nice engineering on Soyo’s side.
No Dragon board would be complete without onboard 6 channel audio would it? The Fire Dragon features the added bracket that adds the Surround, Center/LFE, and Digital In/Out’s for the C-Media 6 channel onboard audio. The bracket also has a red PCB to match the board.
The Fire Dragon comes with a bay device called the Z-Box. The Z-Box features a smart card reader, Firewire, and USB ports up front.