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AMD Athlon 64 Chipset Royal Rumble - December 2003 - VIA K8T800 - Soltek SL-K8AV-R Quick Look

AMD has given us mainstream 64-bit processing and now we have a bunch of chipsets to join the joy ride. Today we pit all the newest chipsets from VIA, SIS, nVidia and ALI and find out who our best choice is for our Athlon 64 powered motherboard!

By: | AMD CPUs & APUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Nov 30, 2003 5:00 am

VIA K8T800


- Soltek SL-K8AV-R


While there are quite a fair few VIA K8T800 based motherboards on the market already with some of them being faster then this particular product, the reason we have chosen to look at the cheaper Soltek version is because it follows a closer reference style design and doesn't have all the fancy features to help increase performance like some motherboards from MSI or ABIT, which helps even out the playing field as much as possible.



In no way does this make the motherboard worse then others. If you are chasing a motherboard to go with your new shiny new AMD Athlon 64 processor and don't want to break the bank too much, then this product on offer from Soltek may be a better option for you.


- The Chipset


The K8T800 from VIA was the first chipset we had the pleasure of testing when it came to the new line of Athlon processors some months ago now. We have been very happy with what the K8T800 has done for us since day one but it is now time to place it against the competition to see what it is really capable of.


The K8T800 chip is capable of handling all the latest processors from AMD. It is offered in a Server / Workstation solution and a Performance PC version. The particular version we are looking at today is the Athlon 64 Performance PC version, a single channel DDR processor that brings 64-bit computing to everyone (who can afford it).


We had the chance to have a good look into the K8T800 chipset when it came to our Athlon 64 Performance PC article. VIA's current Southbridge makes installation of Serial ATA an ease and includes some excellent features to get the most out of your experience.


- Quick Motherboard Look


Since we are looking at the chipsets on the motherboard instead of the motherboard itself, we won't go into too much detail.



We see that the motherboard follows a 1/5 AGP/PCI setup in a very funky purple color scheme. Moving just above the AGP and PCI slots we see the memory slots. It was disappointing to see that there were only two memory slots on the motherboard - remember this is an option that Soltek have chosen to do, it is not a limitation of the chipset by VIA.



We don't find anything out of the ordinary when it comes to the I/O ports: you have your normal USB ports, PS2, COM and Parallel ports. It was a disappointment to find that this model doesn't come with an onboard network controller which would make life a lot easier.



Soltek's decision to use the 8235 Southbridge instead of the newer and better 8237 was also a let down but this helps lower the price of the overall motherboard cost. Soltek have chosen to use the onboard promise SATA controller instead.



Overall we have a very basic looking motherboard that will help the budget conscious Athlon 64 user.




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