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Soltek 75KV KT133 Motherboard Review

Soltek 75KV KT133 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Plagued by numerous problems in the recent past, Intel now sees itself in a very difficult position. Quite a contrast from the days before the existance of the Athlon. Since the Athlon's conception, AMD has been moving forward at full speed and minimal hindrance many thanks to the vast pool of chipset and motherboard support.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Soltek Oct 12 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Soltek 75KV

First Impressions



There are a couple of visible changes that Soltek has incorporated to the SL 75KV motherboard. Upon first inspection, we noticed the lack of COM2 port which is normally positioned next to the COM1 port on the ATX header. For some reason (unknown to us), Soltek chose to add the COM2 port on the motherboard itself (in between the AGP slot and the Socket A interface). This results in having to make use of the included serial port cable which would need to be fitted on the rear panel of the cabinet.

This can be problematic. As the actual COM2 header lies to the right of the AGP slot, placing the serial port cable into your cabinet could be a bit cumbersome if you do not have a slot on your cabinet in the corresponding location.

Secondly, we had a slight problem with the HDD headers. The primary and secondary hard disk headers are positioned parallel (and in very close proximity) to the AGP slot. Installing/removing an AGP card required us to play around with the HDD cables in order to keep the card and cables from touching. Other than these points, we had no major issues with the layout of the SL 75KV.

Surrounding the Socket A space are 5 3300 uF and 4 2200uF capacitors to help contribute to CPU signal stability. For overclockers, the SL 75KV comes equipped with a blue DIP switch box in order to manipulate FSB speeds. These speeds can also be modified from the system BIOS but more on that later.

Installation

As with any other Socket A motherboard, a simple driver installation for the chipset (and AC97 audio) is all it took to get the system up and running.

With respect to hardware installation, no jumpers are needed to be set. One point worth mentioning has to partially do with the layout of the motherboard and that is the installation of a heatsink. As the new Duron's and "Thunderbirds" discharge a great amount of heat (especially so while overclocking), placement of a good heatsink/fan is in order.

Most of the time, good heatsinks come with a large requirement for real estate. The cooling solution used here is a Thermaltake Chrome Orb. Oddly enough, I have come across some Socket A motherboards which simply do not allow the use this cooler as mainboard capacitors often come in the way. I was frankly quite relieved to see that the SL 75KV did not exhibit the same hindrances as with other boards I have seen.

Test Bed Setup

For all testing done here, we have used the following hardware setup...

AMD Duron 600 CPU
128MB PC100 SDRAM (CAS2)
8.4GB Quantum Fireball CR ATA/66 HDD
Soltek 75KV Motherboard
Asus A7V Motherboard
Biostar M7VKB Motherboard

Winstone Performance

For this benchmark, Winstone 99 and Content Creation Winstone 2000 have been used to test the overall performance of the test bed setup. Winstone 99 (Business Winstone 99) v1.2 is used to test the overall business performance of the computer system by using applications such as MS Office 97, Lotus Smartsuite 97, etc. Content Creation Winstone 2000 is a system level, application based benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance when running today's Windows based Internet content creation applications. The test focuses on top selling Internet content creation applications.

Each test was run 3 times with the result being the average value of the 3 test runs. Higher numbers indicate better performance.

As we see here, the SL 75KV does outperform its Biostar counterpart by a small margin. For all practical purposes, both boards perform extremely well. However, the Asus A7V does take a slight lead creeping ahead of both Biostar and Soltek. Soltek's SL 75KV performs very well under Business Winstone 99 and Content Creation 2000... as it should.

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Contents of Article: Soltek 75KV
 Pg 1.  Soltek 75KV KT133 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — First Impressions
 Pg 3.  Quake 3
 Pg 4.  Overclocking and Stability

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