On the other hand, the onboard jumpers allow resetting the rated frequency of the processor bus, so this mainboard can be used without any consequences for AGP/PCI devices if you’re overclocking the FSB up to 166 or 200MHz. So, the Soltek SL-KT880E-RL is not completely hopeless.
A couple of words about monitoring: the mainboard can keep track of three temperatures, speeds of three fans, and all the main voltages. It’s good that the CPU temperature data are taken from the thermal diode integrated into the processor itself – it means higher accuracy. Regrettably, the mainboard can’t boast any technologies for reducing the noise from the fans, but it comes with an exclusive utility for hardware monitoring instead:
Testbed and Methods
In this section we will compare the performance of the Soltek SL-KT880E-RL mainboard with that of another KT880-based product, the ASUS A7V880. Let’s check out if the off-the-shelf mainboard from Soltek can beat the sample from ASUS or even a mainboard on the rivaling nForce2 Ultra 400 chipset? So, we used the following hardware in our test systems:
- AMD Athlon 3200+ CPU (2.2GHz, 400MHz FSB);
- Mainboards: Soltek SL-KT880E-RL (VIA KT880, BIOS 1.1), ASUS A7V880 (VIA KT880, BIOS 1001.018) and ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe (NVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400, BIOS 1010);
- 2x256MB DDR400 SDRAM from Corsair with 2-2-2-5 timings worked in the dual-channel mode;
- ASUS RADEON 9800 XT graphics card;
- Western Digital WD400JB hard disk drive.
We ran our tests in Windows XP SP1; the BIOSes of the mainboards were set up for the maximum performance. Besides that, the real FSB frequency was a little higher in all three mainboards and equaled 202MHz instead of 200MHz – this mild overclocking seems to have become a tradition already.