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Soltek SL-02A++ Slocket Adaptor Review

Soltek SL-02A++ Slocket Adaptor Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: There have lately been a wave of FC-PGA / PPGA adapters on the market, especially these days due to the recent release of the Intel "Coppermine" CPU.
 95% Rating:   
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Soltek Apr 12 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > Soltek SL-02A

Soltek SL-02A++ Slocket Adaptor Review


Soltek SL-02A++There have lately been a wave of FC-PGA / PPGA adapters on the market, especially these days due to the recent release of the Intel "Coppermine" CPU. The Coppermine is the latest edition of the Pentium III family which is manufactured on a .18 micron process as opposed to the older generation Pentium III's manufactured on a .25 micron process.

Coppermine's have introduced a 256KB on die L2 cache running at full clock rate. Previously, Pentium III's were running on a half clock speed 512KB cache. Because of this and the shift to .18 micron, Intel has given people something great to look forward to... including overclockers.

Now a couple of inherent problems are there when wanting to shift to the Coppermine. On October 25, 1999, Intel announced the FC-PGA form factor, so motherboards made prior to that date may not have support for the Coppermine. Firstly, being based on a .18 micron process had brought down voltage requirements. Coppering run at a voltage of either 1.6 or 1.65 volts. Current Celeron processors operate at 2.0 volts.

Secondly, FC-PGA Coppermine's have two RESET pins and operate according to VRM 8.4 specifications (check your motherboard for compliance). Coppermine's also run at a 133Mhz FSB speed which the majority of motherboards do support. Lastly the motherboard you which to use the Coppermine on must have a supporting BIOS to avail of proper detection of the chip. To be absolutely certain, do check with the motherboard documentation or the manufacturer itself if the BIOS and motherboard do support Coppermine CPUs.

Specifications


Recently,we got our hands on the Soltek SL-02A++ FC-PGA / PPGA Adapter card (or known as Slocket to many). Here below are the specifications of the adapter card:

- Allows for FC-PGA & PPGA processors to plug into Slot 1
- Supports for Intel's Coppermine and the upcoming VIA Cyrix Joshua processor
- 32 CPU core voltage settings jumpers (from 1.3V to 3.5V)
- Support for 66/100/133 Mhz FSB
- Support for dual Slot 1 motherboards

Now before making the shift make sure that your motherboard has support for a 133Mhz FSB, VRM8.4 specification and a BIOS which can detect the presence of a Coppermine CPU. Of course, another important aspect would be to use PC133 SDRAM. It is well known that some varieties of PC100 SDRAM can be clocked at speeds of (and sometimes greater than) 133Mhz. All this can be confusing for some, but that is the way of the industry. So right now we are stuck with it.

So then why not go in for a FC-PGA motherboard in the first place? Well, the Coppermine is still prohibitively expense for most and it hasn't quite caught on yet. So purchasing a Coppermine compliant Slot 1 motherboard right now will gain you the opportunity to use your older, say, SEPP Celeron and still have an option for upgrading to a Coppermine at a later date through the use of a Slocket adapter like the one reviewed here.

Or you just may want the flexibility just for the heck of it! In the future, motherboard manufacturers will start concentrating more towards the Socket 370 platform rather than the Slot 1 since it is more cost effective to manufacture. But leave aside that, it looks like Intel itself is moving more towards Socket 370 as well. So there isn't much choice for the motherboard manufacturers now, is there? ;)

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Contents of Article: Soltek SL-02A
 Pg 1.  — Soltek SL-02A++ Slocket Adaptor Review
 Pg 2.  Jumper Settings and Conclusion

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