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Soltek SL-86SPE-L Springdale Motherboard Review

By: Shawn Baker | Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Jul 24, 2003 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 8.0%Manufacturer: Soltek



- Package


The package is very standard on the Soltek motherboard. If you have had the chance to look at a few of Soltek's motherboards in the past you will notice that they simply use the same box, then depending on the chipset and its features they place stickers on top of it. The box is quite nice looking but shouldn't determine if your going to buy the motherboard or not.


Once you get inside and pull the motherboard out the way you will find that there isn't too much to look at. You receive your normal array of manuals, an ugly IDE cable and floppy cable, 2 X Serial ATA cables and driver CD to get you up and running. The smaller package helps keep the price down on the Soltek motherboard which will appeal to a lot more people who can often download the included software of other motherboard packages online anyway.


- First Glance


When you first look at the motherboard you notice how good it looks in silver. If you move away from looking at the color you notice a motherboard which is quite simple, the memory slots are black and all the other ports are very standard. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, if you're someone wanting a motherboard for looks this may not be the best option, on the other hand some people will find that the silver may go perfect with their desired color scheme.





- Springdale Power


As we stated previously, the Soltek SL-86SPE-L is powered by Intel's Springdale chipset otherwise known as the I865 (P-PE-G). The particular version we are looking at today is the PE version which carries a host of features very similar to Intel's higher end Canterwood known as the I875. The main difference is the exclusion of Performance Acceleration Technology or PAT. PAT helps reduce the time it takes to access memory which overall gives you an increase in performance where memory bandwidth is of importance. The Springdale chipset also has support for Intel's new CSA gigabit networking technology but Soltek has chosen not to include it for some reason. We will look further into this now.



- No CSA


Like we just said, Soltek has chosen to go down the path of using the Realtek controller which only has support for 10/100 networking, while this isn't a bad thing we feel the main reason for choosing this controller over Intel's CSA network controller would be for cost reasons. This motherboard is designed for people who want to use the latest chipset but at the lowest price. We had absolutely no problems running the networking and like you would expect, it was very easy to setup like most onboard LAN solutions.



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