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  • Soltek SL-865-GR 'Black Thunder' Motherboard Review
  • Soltek SL-865-GR 'Black Thunder' Motherboard Review



    Over the past few years we all have seen a growing trend in motherboard design that follows a lot of what is happening in the personal electronics sector. Companies are building boards with more and more features onboard to offer the consumer a wider range of flexibility. Some of these features come included with the chipset but if AC'97 sound has taught us anything, chipset features are not always the best thing.
    Soltek as started to create a line of products that better targets the high-end hardware enthusiast and I have high hopes to see what Black Thunder series brings. As of this writing the current Black Thunder boards include 2 Pentium 4 (Springdale) motherboards and 3 Athlon64 boards across 2 separate chipsets (VIA and Nvidia). Since this series is targeted at the high-end user you can be assured that they will feature all of the extra onboard goodies like 6 channel sound, RAID and GigaLAN.
    The Soltek SL-865-GR might not come with a bunch of included goodies like 6 in 1 card readers or and carrying straps but it does have the necessary onboard items to create a competitive and stable motherboard. Based on the benchmarks the 865-GR has similar performance to the previously released Violet Eyes 86SPE with a fair amount of overclocking potential. Nothing appeared to be missing from the BIOS except for higher Vcore settings; this is due to the Springdale chipset only being able to supply 1.6v without an external power module. The lack of a higher Vcore doesn't hinder mild overclocking but does mean that Pentium 4 Celerons will not supported.
    Now for the ever popular list of Good things and Bad things. happy smile
    The Good Things
    Dual Channel DDR 400
    Black PCB with Violet expansion slots
    Onboard SerialATA and SerialATA RAID
    800Mhz Pentium 4 Processor Support
    Nice set of overclocking controls
    The Bad Things
    Limited Vcore Voltage
    Ninjalane Rating
    I would like to thank Soltek for helping to make this review possible.