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Soltek 75KV2 KT133 Motherboard Review

Soltek 75KV2 KT133 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The fruits brought forth from AMD's newest line of processors, namely the Duron and the "Thunderbird", not only delivered excellent performance at a very low price, but also boasted of a tremendous potential for overclocking.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Soltek Dec 02 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > Soltek 75KV2

First Impressions



In effect, the 75KV2 X has a layout very similar to that of the older 75KV with the differences only being the added features in the former. Closing in, the first item we looked for are the DIP switch boxes used in overclocking the CPU. We were just a bit beyond satisfied in what we saw. Adjacent to the 2 DIP switch boxes (one of them used for multiplier settings, the other for FSB speed adjustment) is a red LED indicator which lights up when the system is overclocked.

More specifically, the lights turns on when when the system is running according to the manual DIP switch adjustment and not the default settings. If you plan to install this motherboard into a cabinet (and most of you will), do note that accessing the boxes is a bit cumbersome compared to having the switches on the south end of the motherboard.

Located on the opposite end of the board is a integrated circuit which is responsible for providing the 75KV2 X with VD Tech (or Voice Diagnosis Technology).

As this board was design with overclocking in mind, a thought passed our minds that perhaps Soltek would have incorporated capacitors with a higher uf rating than previous models. However, we were to see this motherboard with an identical number (and type) of capacitors (5 3300 uF and 4 2200uF) being used.

It is possible that Soltek presumes that their boards are stable enough and do not need extra capacitors present. Whatever the case may be, we shall soon find out how well it performed. Nevertheless, it is obvious that Soltek made a conscious effort to provide what the overclocker needs. We were pleased to see an additional fan header which brings the total number to 3. In addition, Soltek has provided an ample amount of real estate around the Socket A interface for a decent sized cooling solution.

With respect to the remaninig layout of the board, we found it to be rather clean and unobtrusive.

The 686B Southbridge

Before the launch of native chipset support for ATA/100, board makers were forced to make use of third party controllers which incorporated ATA/100 support and in many instances, ATA/100 RAID 0/1/0+1. Now that the 686B Southbridge has made its entry into the market, the cost of having to provide an additional ATA/100 controller is now side stepped. Naturally, the savings are passed on to the end user. Aside from the added ATA/100 support, the 686B Southbridge remains identical to the previous 686A Southbridge.

it has always been a trend to see hard disk interface speeds to be much faster than actual hard disk transfer rates. As of today, there is not an ATA hard disk on the market which can exceeded a 40MB/s 50MB/s throughput rate. However, we are not saying that ATA/100 is totally useless. On the contrary, it is just what the ATA market needs. But for the moment, even the older ATA/66 interface is yet to be fully utilized. This situation will change within the next year as hard disk transfer rates go on the gradual increase enough to finally make use of the high bandwidth interface.

Installation

Physical as well as software installation went rather smoothly. We capped the CPU with a Thermaltake Chrome Orb and off we went. There is really no need to adjust anything on default other than perhaps the jumper for on board audio provided you choose to use a third party add on.

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
MSI Starforce 815 GF2 GTS
Soltek 75KV Motherboard
Asus A7V Motherboard
Biostar M7VKB Motherboard
Transcend AKT4 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.

From a performance standpoint, there is no difference in performance between this motherboard and the older 75KV. According to the graphs, the Soltek board finishes faster than the Transcend board and manages to surpass the Biostar make as well. However, the Asus A7V does take a slight lead creeping ahead all boards tested here. 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 75KV2
 Pg 1.  Soltek 75KV2 KT133 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  — First Impressions
 Pg 3.  Quake 3
 Pg 4.  Overclocking & Stability

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