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Soltek SL-75MRN-L "Golden Flame" Motherboard Review

By: Mike Wright | Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: Mar 27, 2003 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 9.5%Manufacturer: Soltek



It goes without saying that any time we get a new motherboard in for testing, we want to see what it can do in regards to overclocking. While not everyone does this, a larger number of people are jumping square into the O/C arena and getting that free horsepower from their own rig. I have even seen office workers bumping up the speeds of their work rigs!


Now, considering that the tests that were run were done so at overclocked speeds from the beginning, we can already say that this motherboard has the abilities to do this task. But the 1870MHz speed used in these tests was the fastest stable speed that could be attained on the AthlonXP 1800+ processor that I used on these boards. While this is a very workable boost in speed, is this all that the Soltek board could get out of this little Thoroughbred "A" chunk of silicon?


The short answer to this question is NO! Now that I have that out of my system, I'll go into a bit more detail.


First off, it should be noted right up front that my little processor will absolutely refuse to boot at anything remotely resembling a 166MHz FSB setting. I have tried numerous memory settings, adjusted Vcore amounts, memory voltages, the works. So with this knowledge to work with, it won't be any surprise to find out that I still wasn't able to attain this level of sheer horsepower from this processor on the Soltek board.


BUT, that doesn't mean that I was unable to get faster speeds. With a little experimentation and a little more patience, I was able to get everything working with 100% stability at a nice 1962MHz. This works out to a handy 5% increase in overclockability just from using the Soltek motherboard. I was also able to boot at speeds over 2GHz, but was unable to get it to load Windows. It is hard to argue with this type of performance boost.


To help you in your quest for the almighty MHz, Soltek has included what is known as RedStorm Overclocking. Simply put, this gives you a lot of power when it comes to settings within the BIOS. The AWARD BIOS has some decent overclocking options, but the additions made by the folks at Soltek make it even better. To give you an example of what I mean, you get the ability to adjust Vcore voltages from 1.1 - 1.85v in 0.025v increments, DDR voltage settings from 2.5 - 2.8v on 0.1v increments, AGP voltage settings of 1.5 - 1.8v in 0.1v increments and VDD voltages of 1.6 - 1.8v in 0.1 increments. You can also adjust FSB settings to upwards of 200MHz for those who really want to push their systems to the outer limits.


Oh, and for those who want to see what that extra bit of overclocking amounts to, check out these:








While all results were higher than before, one of the tests that stuck out among the rest was the results garnered in the Sandra Memory Bandwidth Benchmark. That dual channel memory support seems to truly enjoy it when you push the system higher than before. A simple 5% gain in processor performance nearly doubled the performance margins in the memory tests. The differenced noted were 14% and 15% respectively for that series.


The only holdout in the top-end testing was that pesky little 3DMark 2003. We'll have to look into this one, but all other results state without exception that the Soltek board wins hands down over the EPoX one.


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