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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

Soltek 67KV Slot 1 VIA Apollo 133A Motherboard Review


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. These CPUs officially support FSB speeds of 133Mhz. Older Pentium III CPUs only support FSB speeds of 100Mhz. Present day Celeron's, on the other hand, support only a 66Mhz FSB with hopes of a 100Mhz version waiting to see the light of day.

FSB speeds of over 150Mhz are now being introduced by motherboard manufacturers though they are not officially supported by Intel. But then again, where has "unofficial" FSB's stopped the most avid overclocker? Intel's own solution for accommodating their Coppermine CPU came in the form of the Intel 820 chipset.

Delays due to stability issues knocked down the opportunity for Intel to grab a large market share of Coppermine supporting motherboards. Even if they did release it on time, the much hyped support for RDRAM was faced with much criticism due to the substantial cost of this type of memory which is up to 4-5 times the price of regular (and the more popular) SDRAM. Given this situation, eyebrows were raised at VIA and they listened when they heard opportunity knocking... and of course, they opened the door. A number of motherboard manufacturers realized the situation and started producing boards based upon the VIA Apollo Pro133A chipset.

This is aimed to provide a solution for users who do not want to purchase the i820-based boards due to the sky high price of RDRAM. This, of course, would cover a lot of users. Now, some i820-based motherboards in the market do have support for SDRAM. This is done through something known as a Memory Translator Hub (MTH) which significantly reduces performance. But that is a totally different chapter...

Recently, PCStats got a hold of one such VIA Apollo Pro 133A based motherboard. This one is manufactured by Soltek, Taiwan... namely, the Soltek 67KV. Soltek has long been a manufacturer constantly churning out a number of award winning motherboards. Boasting a number of useful features, the Soltek 67KV is certainly prepared to take on the competition on its own merit. Here are the salient features.

Specifications


- Supports Intel Celeron / Pentium II / Pentium III + Coppermine in speeds of 300-733Mhz and higher through Slot 1
- Support for 66/75/83/100/103/105/124/133/150Mhz system bus speeds
- Clock multipliers up to 8x
- Based upon the VIA Apollo Pro 133A Chipset (694x + 686A)
- Support for 4x AGP (1.5V AGP 4x capable)
- Ultra ATA/66 Support - Built in AC'97 Audio Codec
- 3.3V x 3 DIMM slots for a maximum of 768MB SDRAM
- ECC support
- 5 Bus Mastering PCI slots / 1 ISA slot / 1 4x AGP slot / 1 AMR slot
- ATX form factor, 4 layer PCB, 18.5cm x 30.5cm size
- Hardware Monitor
- BIOS supports CPU core voltage settings
- Supports BIOS writing protection

What's Included


Along with the motherboard, one would get a brief instruction manual, Ultra ATA/66 cable, driver CD, and a bonus pack of Norton Ghost and Norton Anti virus which is certainly a big plus. Such software is pretty necessary in this day and age and Soltek has not forgotten that. Such included software is not usually packed with a motherboard (maybe on rare occasions) but rather bundled in with OEM computer systems.

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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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