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SOLTEK SL-KT400A-L

Soltek manufactures two KT400-based products: with and without the integrated network. The presence of the networking capabilities is marked by “L” in the name of the mainboard – this is our case. Curiously, there is a place on the PCB for a Serial ATA controller and ports, although Soltek has never produced mainboards on VIA chipsets with Serial ATA support. Maybe the company intended to roll out one more, Serial ATA-enabled, version of the mainboard, but gave up the idea.

The package included the same stuff you get with any other mainboard. The only “feature” is a thick book on accompanying software utilities: it is a longer read than the user’s manual. I wonder what Soltek is up to: are they going to start selling software?

SOLTEK SL-KT400A-L: Features

As we don’t have any non-standard accessories with the mainboard, its functionality is not exceptional, too. The only thing worth mentioning is the house technology from Soltek – Red Storm Overclocking Tech. Its key point is that the mainboard itself is trying to overclock the CPU to the maximum frequency, without losing any stability. However, this stability is determined by the mainboard, so this technology will be of no help if the system cannot boot up Windows or fails in the middle of the tests. All my attempts to feel the difference with auto-overclocking ended in hang-ups or system reload during the work of Red Storm. Seems like Soltek still has quite a bit to do with this technology.

Overall, Soltek SL-KT400A-L mainboard is for a home user who’s not a dedicated overclocker and quite reasonably wants to save some money. Although, the BIOS still includes a few settings, which are definitely intended not for a casual user (it’s hard to tell who they are intended for, actually). We will discuss them in a moment.

SOLTEK SL-KT400A-L: PCB Design

The design of this mainboard resembles that of the EPoX product discussed above, although there were a few evident differences. For example, the FDD and HDD connectors are placed in a row, which is not very good. If all three cables are plugged in, you will have trouble plugging and unplugging any of them. Still, this is better than by Gigabyte’s board.

I guess the SCR1 connector is not in its right place, too. According to the user’s manual, it serves for smart-card reader connection. The most logical place to install a smart-card reader is the front part of the system case, so the cable will wind through the entire case. Maybe that’s not a serious drawback, but it is still a bit upsetting.

 
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