Apollo Plus Chipset was initially introduced to be a cheaper alternative
solution to Intel's 440BX chipset. Feature wise, it delivered a bit more than
the 440BX. One of the main advantages the Apollo Plus chipset was supposed to
have over the 440BX, was it's ability to run the memory at 66 or 100 Mhz, which was certainly nice. Unfortunately, this feature never gained as much popularity in the Slot-1 arena as it did in the Socket 7 arena, most of the time board manufacturers never bothered implementing it on their boards, and the plummeting prices of PC-100 RAM and the 440BX chipset didn't help the situation either.
All these issues, combined with the slower performance of the Apollo Plus over the 440BX, due its memory timings and its AGP miniport drivers, made for a good recipe for failure in the Slot-1 arena. So, what's left for the Apollo Plus is the Socket 370 arena, and in that respect the Apollo Plus makes for a decent alternative to the 440ZX chipset vs. the 440BX chipset.
Apollo's Achilles Heel
Pitting the Apollo Plus against the 440BX was a mistake on Via's part, and the following benchmarks will prove just that. I benchmarked the SL-65D and compared against the ABIT BP6. Here are the results:
Test System Configuration
Processor: Intel Celeron 466 Mhz PPGA Motherboard(s): Soltek SL-65D and ABIT BP6 Memory: 128 Megs PC-100 SDRAM Hard Disk Drive: IBM Deskstar 14GXP 10.1 Gig Video Card: 3dfx Voodoo 3 3000 AGP Operating System: Windows 98 SE
The above chart is not only a performance gauge of
the Soltek SL-65D board, but also a gauge of the Apollo Plus chipset. You can
clearly see how much slower the SL-65D and consequently the Apollo Plus chipset,
are from the BP6 and the 440BX chipset respectively. As a matter of fact, I had
to overclock the SL-65D to 525 Mhz to reach the same level of performance as the
Overall, the Soltek SL-65D would be a good choice for a second system, or for people who don't really mind lesser performance for a lower price. The SL-65D is certainly not a board for performance freaks. It's extensive list of features and great bundle make for an attractive alternative over other more expensive boards, and as long as you don't mind lesser performance then this is a good motherboard.