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.|
Overclocking and Stability
Soltek's 77KV sports
enough options to satisfy the general overclocker. Vcore voltage options are in
the range of 1.5V, 1.55V, 1.6V, 1.65V, 1.7V, 1.8V, 1.9V and 2.0V Vcore. These
should be sufficient enough to apply the appropriate amount of voltage while
overclocking. Strangely enough, increments between 1.7V and 2.0V are only in .1V
steps rather than .05V which is more commonly seen and the more popular
With FSB speeds consisting of 66,
83, 100, 110, 115, 122, 124, 129 and 133MHz, this board would certainly not be
dubbed as a overclocker's "dream" board. Rather than implementing FSB increments
in 1MHz (as exhibited with boards made by ABit and Asus), Soltek opted for the
minimalistic route. At a 115MHz FSB speed (a 632.5MHz resultant overclock), I
found the system running extremely stable without hiccup of any kind.
Keep in mind that I am using PC100
SDRAM running at At 122MHz, the computer refused to even POST. Somewhere between
115MHz and 122MHz would have probably been ideal for this CPU. But with the
current number of options on the motherboard, I guess I will never know.
Another feature which seems to
be very appealing among overclockers today is the option to run your memory at
either HOSTCLK +/- 33MHz. If you are looking at a 115MHz overclock, you may have
problems if your system consists of PC100 SDRAM. Though many PC100 modules
(including mine) are capable of running at 115MHz, there are some out there that
just cannot. This is where the DRAM option comes in to be very useful.
Assuming you own PC133 modules and your CPU
cannot overclock above 110MHz, you can always set the +33MHz option and have
your memory running at 143MHz to give your system a slight performance boost.
The added flexibility is certainly appealing.
The Soltek 77KV
performs as well as (if not better) than other KX133-based motherboards out
there. It sports a good number of BIOS configurable options and is extremely
stable. With reference to overclockers, the only gripe I can find is the lack of
a good number of FSB options.
Soltek is not very far from making the best motherboard available. Though the
major details of the board (performance, stability, etc.) have been addressed, it is
the minor details which need more attention. Starting from the manual to the overclocking
options, Soltek is certainly capable of filling in the
For example, stability is
certainly evident in the 77KV but lacks the bus speeds to compliment it. We were
very impressed with the Soltek 67KV and now after looking at the 77KV, we are
beginning to get a better idea of Soltek's potential. From such a young company
we are looking at such wonderful talent. Will Soltek be able to compete
head-to-head with the big players by taking a large portion of the market share?
Certainly, but only if they can apply the finishing
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