This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.Layout
Again, on the Soltek KT400A motherboard, we see that they have decided to not include the four mounting holes around the CPU socket. The area around the socket is pretty good with the exception of the upper left hand corner in this picture below. The processor socket is turned perpendicular on this motherboard as well, and forces you to take the memory out in order to do anything with the CPU heatsink.
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The heatsink on the north bridge is of moderate quality, though they did use a good thermal paste. The DIMM slots caused a problem with the AGP slot as well – in order to install memory or remove it properly, you’ll have to remove the AGP card before hand. This is something that has become more widespread on both the VIA and NVIDIA chipset motherboards, sadly.
Like the Epox board before it, the Soltek board also requires you to set jumpers for the 100/133/166 MHz FSB before any bios settings will be of use to you. There is also a CPU protect jumper that you can enable in order to protect your CPU from burning up if you forget to hook up the fan. Soltek has also included the additional 4-pin power connector for those users with PSUs supporting them.
The slot configuration has a single AGP slot with a standard retention clip and six PCI slots. The IDE slots are farther down on the motherboard allowing it to be a bit slimmer along the waistline. 🙂
The Soltek motherboard that I received is much like the Epox board. It is more of a low cost solution and doesn’t have all the features that the Gigabyte had. It does include a 6-channel audio codec on board, a 10/100 network connection as well as optional Serial ATA on a more expensive model.
The Soltek board is pretty bare in this area as well, coming with the manuals you need as well as a floppy and IDE cable. Ta dum.
The Soltek bios has a lot of interesting features in it for enthusiasts. This first screenshot below shows what memory timings and settings are available.
Soltek also has a good implementation for CPU protection in their bios. It lets you set your own CPU temperature to turn off the machine at, as well as CPU fan speed warning settings, etc.
As for overclocking, the Soltek board allows us CPU frequencies up to 200 MHz, as well as CPU Vcore settings up to 1.85v. You can adjust the AGP voltage up to 1.8v and the DIMM voltage to 2.8v. The CPU ratio can be changed up to 18.0x. The Red Storm Overclocking utility is supposed to accurately tell you how far you can overclock your FSB, but its accuracy was off in any of the tests we ran.