Written on: 07/02/2002 by Daedelus. (1 review written)
Inexpensive, soft and manual voltage selections for the overclockers, DDR support, stability, software package, ata133, purple.
Maybe because you don't like purple, some capacitors too close to cpu socket which may cause problems with some of the larger fans, no standard sdram support.
The SL75-DRV4 motherboard from Soltek is a relative newcomer and soltek have never been known as a major player against the likes of abit and asus, but now I think they have given their rivals something to worry about. After testing this board I have found that it competes with and wins in quite a few benchmark categories against its closest rivals from EPOX (EP-8KHA+) and ASUS to name a couple.
From the moment of bootup its stability came through, bios was simple and effective to use. For the standard user it has stability and a good layout for ease of setup for the first time builder, for the overclocker it has manual voltage and frequency selections through jumpers, though this can be done via bios also. Front side bus can be manipulated up to 300 MHz (150 external cpu clock) and it is stable at these speeds, (when appropriate cooling is used!) That is its main advantage, it is stable in every test and after every tweak I performed.
It has support for the latest harddrives with ata133(notably maxtor drives). It does have onboard ac97 sound and ac97 modem though these are not good enough for hardline gamers, these can be both disabled via the bios.
Bad points are that you have to be careful with installing large fans onto the cpus as a capacitor is very close to the rear side of the socket. The other is for people who want to still use there old sdram sticks, there is no support for these, but with current memory prices you're better off buying ddr now before the prices again rocket.
I bought one of these a few days ago due to my testing results and I do not regret it. Setup was easy with no awkward finger work needed to setup fiddly parts, first time boot up, auto detected everything correctly, cpu speed, drives, memory, FSB voltages needed for CPU etc. It even made my chip 50 MHz faster without any overclocking compared to my previous boards, Abit kt7a-raid to name one, (see other review). WinXP went in with no problems, all drivers detected and installed by OS (later upgraded from soltek). And after stressing the system on benchmark and processor/graphics runs for 8 hours last night it stood up to everything and was totally stable!!! Which is a rare thing with a lot of motherboards nowadays.
If your a newbie get this board because it will handle anything you throw at it, if your an overclocker junkie, get this because its so easy to get maximum speeds out of your processor and its still stable at 150MHz (300 MHz FSB), it is an overclockers dream.
Plus it comes with a standard soltek software package which includes PC-cillin 2000, virtual drive, partition magic 6 and drive image 4.0 all full version.
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