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Soltek 67KV Slot 1 VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review

Soltek 67KV Slot 1 VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Slowly but surely, 133Mhz front side bus speeds are becoming the evident standard being set. More so due to the recent release of the Intel Coppermine line of CPUs. For those of you who don't know, the Coppermine is actually the name given to the newest edition of Intel Pentium III CPUs.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Soltek Apr 12 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Soltek 67KV

BIOS and Power Management

BIOS

The 67KV BIOS adds for extreme flexibility by adding a few options thanks to the VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset. Probably one of the most interesting features is the ability to change the speed at which your RAM operates in relation to the rest of the system. You can set your RAM to operate at either at FSB speed or FSB+33MHz. What this means is that if you own a 100MHz FSB CPU operating and own PC100 RAM, you can set the RAM clock at +33MHz so that the RAM will function at 133MHz while the rest of the components on the FSB will operate at 100MHz.

This can be done since quite a number of PC100 SDRAM memory modules can run successfully at 133MHz. In this case, if you have a CPU which cannot be overclocked beyond 100MHz, you can still push your RAM to run at 133MHz which should provide for a performance increase, albeit a nominal increase.

Another good feature of the BIOS is the bumping of the core voltage (Vcore) of the CPU. The options available are -0.05V, -0.1V, +0.05V, +0.1V, +0.2V, +0.3V, +0.4V. This should certainly aid the avid overclocker in circumstances when a little bit more "juice" is required to have the CPU running at a higher than rated clock speed.

One thing that really stood out was the suggestion made by the BIOS upon bootup. After POSTing, if the BIOS decides that your RAM is capable enough, it will tell you that SDRAM CAS '2' Latency Time is suggested. When this happens, usually upon first installation or when loading BIOS setting defaults, your CAS latency will be set to '3'. SDRAM cycle timing can also be changed, though not in the usual x-x-x-x format that some of us are used to. The exact timing cycle isn't displayed. What is displayed are the following options: Turbo, Fast, Medium, Normal, SDRAM 8ns, SDRAM 10ns.

The onboard "soft audio" AC97 audio can also be disabled in the BIOS to allow for PCI audio cards which do not require any CPU cycle consumption. Other than the usual options, there is also control over AGP 4X mode as well as AGP Driving Control. On board USB and USB Keyboard support can be enabled/disabled as well. All in all, the BIOS certainly gives power users total control of the action and performance of the computer system.

Hardware monitoring on the 67KV can be viewed through the BIOS itself. 5 voltages, namely Vcore, 2.5V, 3.3V, 5V and 12V are monitored along with CPU Temperature, system temperature (through an external thermal sensor), CPU fan speed and system fan speed. With the use of the included VIA Hardware Monitor System V.107, a number of additional monitoring features are given. CPU and system overheat limits are stated along with CPU and system hysteresis limits.

One benefit through the software is the ability to set an alarm when CPU and system temperatures, hysteresis, voltages and fan speed parameters are exceeding or below the extremes set in the software. However, one feature missing on the board that overclockers may want is the access to change the AGP Divider Ratio.

Power Management

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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Contents of Article: Soltek 67KV
 Pg 1.  Soltek 67KV Slot 1 VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  First Look and Installation
 Pg 3.  The VIA Apollo 133A Chipset
 Pg 4.  — BIOS and Power Management
 Pg 5.  System Spec's
 Pg 6.  Overclocking and Conclusion

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