iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Soltek 85DR2 (i845E) Mainboard 

This is one more mid-level board but from the well-known manufacturer. 


  • Package of the standard design; 
  • Documentation: user manual and description of software products supplied, - in English; 
  • Cables: 1 ATA66/100/133 and FDD; 
  • Bracket with 2 USB ports; 
  • 2 CDs containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • user manuals for several boards in PDF; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • Several system monitoring utilities; 
    • Boostek; 
    • PC-Cillin 2002; 
    • Virtual Drive; 
    • Drive Image 4.0; 
    • Partition Magic 6.0SE. 

There are several complains about the layout: audio-ins, IDE and FDD connectors are around the PCI slots, and the power supply connector is tucked in between the AGP slot and the processor socket. It can be difficult to reach some jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are shown on the textolite. 

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 8 capacitors of 2200 uF and several less capacious ones.

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset's capabilities and ALC650 AC'97 codec supporting 5.1 audio systems. 
The board supports the Red Storm Overclocking technology (auto overclocking from BIOS) and SafeGuard (protection of the board from video cards of +3.3V voltage - it must be disabled in case of PCI video cards). 

If you insert into the AGP slot a 3.3V video card the red LED will go on notifying on protection from such cards. A red LED located between the processor socket and memory modules informs on power supplied to the memory. The back side of the board houses a metallic plate that prevents the textolite from distortion when massive coolers are installed. 

Non-unsoldered connectors: network controller and RJ45 connector, IDE controller and its connectors, CNR slot, smart card reader's connector, connector for front audio I/Os. 

The system monitoring is supported by the Winbond WT83627HF-AW chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, +3.3, +-5 and +-12 V, VBAT, +5 V Standby; 
  • speed of 2 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor), the board (a built-in sensor) and an external thermistor connected to the board. 
There are 2 connectors for adjustable connection of fans and 1 for nonadjustable connection.

Brief characteristics of the board: memory slots - 2 DDR SDRAM; expansion slots - AGP/ 6 PCI; I/O ports - 2 COM/ LPT/ 2 PS/2/ 6 USB 2.0; dimensions - 305x220 mm.  

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switchesJumper to clear up the CMOS 
Jumpers to choose a FSB frequencyAuto and 133 MHz
Jumper for starting up computer from a PS/2 keyboard 
Jumpers for changing Vmem2.5, 2.6, 2.7 V
Jumpers for changing voltage on the AGP slot1.5, 1.6, 1.7 V
Jumper for the Safe Guard function 
BIOS based on the 3.31a from AMISetup of memory timings+CAS Latency, RAS Precharge, RAS to CAS Delay, Precharge Delay
Setup of memory frequency+Auto, DDR200, DDR266
Setup of AGP bus- 
Setup of PCI bus- 
Changeable scaler of AGP and PCI buses- 
Manual assignment of interrupts- 
Changeable FSB frequency+100 - 200 MHz in 1MHz steps
Changeable CPU multiplier+x8 - x24
Changeable core voltage+1.1 - 1.85 V in 0.025V steps
Changeable memory voltage- 
Changeable chipset voltage- 
Changeable AGP bus voltage- 

We used the latest available version of the BIOS - AF1.2. 

There is nothing much we can say about the board: minimal functions, an average speed, unimpressive adjustability. It's only speed and quality that can be interesting for certain users. 

Test results: 

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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