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The Soltek NV400-64 motherboard is a surprise hit as far as performance goes. While the features that Soltek is offering with the board are on the very low end of things, that is simply because the boards (and chipset for that matter) are aimed for a mainstream market that doesn’t have a need for fancy options like Serial ATA and RAID. All they want is a low final price – and if they happen to get a great performer as well, all the better.

This is also interesting in the fact that it’s the first time we have seen anything based on the nForce2 400 chipset. Since we never received a reference board from anyone, we are taking the Soltek board as the defacto performance we can and should look for on future nF2 400 motherboards. Which raises the question: why is the nF2 400 performing better than the nF2 Ultra 400 board? Too be completely honest, I am not sure and any answers I have gotten from NVIDIA seem stretched at best.

If the performance of the Soltek board is the norm for this chipset, why won’t any manufacturers offer full-featured motherboards based on this less expensive chipset for the enthusiast market? I can only imagine the acceptance a board with SATA, RAID, good 6-channel audio, Firewire, USB 2.0 and more would get if it were $30-50 less than current offerings.

But, because we don’t know if that will ever happen, with the release of the nForce3 chipset getting closer, Soltek may be one of the only motherboard manufacturers to have a motherboard based on the nForce2 400 chipset available. And based on their expected selling price of around $70, if you are on the look out for a new motherboard, and you don’t need or want all the extras, the NV400-64 looks to be your best option.

You can find more info in the Soltek Forum at

You can get the Soltek NV400-L64 (with on-board NIC) from our friends at for $76!.

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