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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

First Look and Installation

On first look

The layout of the Soltek 67KV is pretty much similar to any other ATX board on the market. Everything is positioned properly to avoid any sort of cable clutter. The ATX power connector is located on the far right side of the board, the cabinet jumper connectors are located behind the PCI slots and the HDD and floppy connectors are situated behind the DIMM slots.

Seems that everything was custom made to fit in properly in my ATX cabinet without giving me a hard time of various cables and wires playing "Twister" on me. Offering 5 PCI/1 ISA/1 AGP/1 AMR slots, your upgrade options are pretty much unrestricted on the 67KV. All 5 of the PCI slots are bus mastering. The 1 ISA slot is just perfect for those who may have an older sound card or old tape backup device with them. The available AMR is probably one of the most unused features to date since AMR devices have not quite caught on as of yet.

Surrounding the CPU are 10 1500uf capacitors which have contributed to the stability of this board. Another plus point of this motherboard is the additional 2 USB ports which have been made by way of an onboard USB connector which brings the total count of USB ports to 4. The only obtrusion that I found was that the second fan connector (for the chassis fan) is located next to the HDD/FDD connectors.

The fan wires seemed to be just long enough to reach the connector. Located adjacent to the AGP slot is a blue box with 6 dip switches used to adjust FSB speed and CPU clock multipliers up to 8x. Of course, this is pretty much useless for Intel CPU as all of their CPUs remain multiplier locked. The speeds that can be set through the DIP switches are 66, 100 and 133MHz. In case you are not one to take chances (or just plain scared!), there is a setting to have the bus set on AUTO detect. The rest of the "non standard" bus speeds can be set from the BIOS itself.

There was no heatsink on the 694X chip as this is an evaluation sample but hopefully you will get to have one on a proper retail package. Fortunately, there were no heat related issues of the chipset during testing. The attached serial/parallel ports and keyboard/mouse connectors are colour coded to comply with PC99 specifications. Finally, provision has been made by way of a connector on the board for a thermal sensor which is included with the 67KV.

Installation

After going through the grind of screwing in screws, plugging in cables and cords, it was time to boot up. Using Windows 98, I was forced to install a 4-in-1 VIA chipset driver which takes care of the ACPI registry, the VIA PCI IRQ Routing Miniport driver and installation of a AGP VxD driver in turbo mode.

If you are the owner of a copy of Windows 98 SE, then the 4-in-1 driver installation is not required as the drivers are already incorporated into the operating system. On the Soltek driver CD are more drivers for AC97 audio, software such as VIA's Hardware Monitor utility and VIA's DMATOOL which allows you to enable/disable UDMA on your storage devices.

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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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