SOYO 5EHM, 5EMA/5EMA+, and 5EMA Pro Boards
SOYO is one of the better name-brand Super7 motherboards. If you can
find them on the net, they are a great value and use the excellent VIA
chipsets. These boards have been around for a couple of years and
remain excellent platforms for heavy-duty, 24/7 operation. I'm not
entirely sure if the nomenclature of the 5EMA family represents
anything but minor board revisions. The amount of L2 cache on all the
boards does vary, e.g. the 5EHM/5 has 512k L2 cache instead of 1MB.
The 5EHM (and its ATX counterpart, the 5EMA) has no integrated sound
or video hardware but has 3 PCI (5 on the 5EMA) and 3 ISA slots.
Both boards support AGP and IDE
busmastering using extremely stable VIA drivers. These are
rock-stable boards for users who do not want or need integrated
video or audio.
I was given to understand from the TigerDirect.com catalog that the
5EMA Pro supports UDMA-66, though the only product for sale was the
The boards are clearly marked with the version and the SOYO USA web site is
an excellent resource.
Comments and Experiences
Both boards are rock-steady. The build quality of SOYO boards is
exceptional. The placement of the components on the 5EHM blocks
full-length ISA cards like the SoundBlasters. In addition, the
battery and BIOS chip prevent most PCI cards from seating properly.
This is silly considering that this is a board that requires the
installation of several cards just to make a workable system.
Evidently, SOYO has consolidated its distributors in the USA yet
Computer Parts Only remains a reliable supplier of these boards. If
you're looking for building a completely non-Intel system, this is the
board to use. Some earlier boards use ETEQ chipsets but, as it turns
out, these are the same as the VIA chipsets since VIA bought ETEQ.
SOYO USA: http://www.soyousa.com
Computer Parts Only: http://cponly.com/
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