Abstract: Optical High anticipation was the tone prior to the release of AMD's Pentium X killer, the Athlon processor. An exciting time for AMD fans in particular who finally saw their dreams come to fruition as AMD finally surpassed long time rival Intel with regard to high performance microprocessors.|
Soltek's 77KV offers
an extremely flexible BIOS which exhibits a number of features which are now
seen more commonly on various motherboards today. That is to say that the 77KV's
BIOS does possess an ample of amount of options for just about any user.
Starting with core voltage, you have an option of applying a varying amount of
potential difference to your Athlon between 1.5V - 2.0V. The Vcore option allows
you to deviate from default voltage by a predefined amount from the official
1.6V of the AMD Athlon. These values result in the following options which are
available: 1.5V, 1.55V, 1.6V, 1.65V, 1.7V, 1.8V, 1.9V and 2.0V.
speeds can be altered manually either through DIP switches or through the BIOS
itself. Supported FSB's are 66, 83, 100, 110, 115, 122, 124, 129 and 133MHz.
Knowing the popularity of motherboards which sport MHz increments of 1, it would
have been perfect to see this option implemented in the 77KV, but we will
discuss this point a bit later.
What clearly stands out as attractive is
the sheer amount of options to manipulate memory settings. Under the
Advanced BIOS Options, you will find an opportunity to set the
DRAM clock speed at either HSTCLK + 33MHz, HSTCLK -33MHz or at FSB. For example,
you are running your FSB at 110MHz, then you have the option of running your
memory at either 110MHz (HSTCLK), 76MHz (HSTCLK - 33MHz), or 143MHz (HSTCLK +
33MHz). The greatest benefit of this is the sheer flexibility in system
configuration. In case you have 66MHz SDRAM left over, there will be not
problems in making use of it here.
DRAM Timing settings are also among
the options available. Each of the three DRAM banks (0/1, 2/3, 4/5) can be set
independently to SDRAM 8ns, SDRAM 10ns, Normal, Medium, Fast and Turbo.
Depending on RAM quality, these settings can be changed accordingly for each
A particular feature that we first witnessed on the Soltek 67KV was
the ability to alert the user of their SDRAM CAS setting. If your memory is
capable of running at CAS latency of 2, you will receive a message telling you
so while the computer is POSTing.
Like all motherboards these days, the
67KV does provide support for comprehensive power management. ACPI functions are
present, but in order to take advantage on this feature, your operating system
must have support for it. Windows 98 and Windows 2000 does. The normal WOL
(Wake-on-LAN) and modem ring-in features are present as well. In order to use
WOL, your ATX power supply must be capable of providing at least 5V/720mA of
standby power. Most ATX power supplies do comply to that rating so it shouldn't
be a problem really.
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