Motherboard: Soltek SL75FRN-L Review :: Setup

04-21-2003 · Category: Motherboards

By Benjamin Sun

Soltek brings a lot for a motherboard in this price point. NFORCE2 is an excellent AMD Athlon chipset that supports virtually every modern feature available for chipsets. The stability of this motherboard was excellent. As I don't overclock, the stability of the motherboard with the standard CPU was hardly a question. If you purchase the optional kit, you get the brackets for the extra USB 2.0 ports as well as the missing SPFDIF input/output, Surround/Rear speaker output, Center/Subwoofer output.

So what do I miss from the motherboard? While it doesn't include 6 USB 2.0 ports without the addition of 2 cables, the headers are there. My case has 2 front USB 2.0 ports, and connecting the cable and installing them was easy.I wish Soltek wouldn't skimp on the cables, as you have to purchase Kit 1 to get the needed cables, off Soltek's website. I also miss the dual LANs that the nForce2 supports. Also missing are the Serial ATA and Gigabit LAN that many motherboards are starting to ship with. As neither is currently widespread, I can't penalize Soltek for not including them.

Soltek really needs to include more standard components with their motherboards as this would increase there scores by a good margin.

All in all, I'm impressed with the Soltek SL75FRN-L motherboard. While not having all of the features of the Asus A7N8x Deluxe, it's performance is right up there with Asus's board. Further, at a pricepoint of $91 on Pricewatch, this board is reasonable priced enough to warrant my recommendation. In comparison to Asus's nFORCE2 board, the price difference of $35, makes this board an excellent value.

The bundle alone makes up for the price of the motherboard by itself. Partition Magic is an excellent program to manage hard drive partitions on any system. If you don't have any anti-virus software, you can use PC-Cillin 2002 for all of your AV needs. The other software included isn't much use to me, but it's nice add-ons for an excellent board. Normally, the bundle isn't much of a consideration in a review, but in this case, it's both useful and very appealing as part of the overall package.