iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Soltek 85DR3 i845PE Based Mainboard

One of the poorest boards on this chipset won't make Soltek more influential on the world market. 


  • Package of the standard design; 
  • Documentation: user manual, brief installation manual, software description - all in English; 
  • Cables: FDD, ATA66/100/133; 
  • 2 CDs containing: 
    • drivers; 
    • several system monitoring utilities; 
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader; 
    • Boostek; 
    • PC-cillin 2002; 
    • Virtual Drive 7; 
    • RestoreIT! 3 Lite; 
    • PartitionMagic 6 SE; 
    • DriveImage 4. 

Even on the half-emply textolite (it is just a little narrower than the standard board) the layout can't be considered successful: audio, IDE, FDD and power supply connectors are positioned badly, and an inserted video card will lock memory modules in the DIMM slots. It can be difficult to reach some jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are not shown on the textolite. 

The 3-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 2 capacitors of 3300 uF, 9 of 2200 uF and several less capacious ones. 

The following controllers are integrated: 

  • audio controller based on the chipset's capabilities and Avance Logic ALC650 AC'97 codec supporting 5.1 audio systems and having connectors for front audio outputs and for SPDIF. 

On the back you can see a plate that prevents twisting of the textolite in case of powerful CPU coolers. 

The board supports the AGP4X Safeguard technology (prevents start of the system in case of 3.3V cards inserted into the AGP slot). 

+2.5 V supplied to the memory modules and insertion of a 3.3V video card are indicated with the red LEDs. 

Non-unsoldered connectors: chips of network, additional IDE and SATA controllers, and their connectors. 

The system monitoring is supported by the ITE IT8712F-A chip. What is controlled: 

  • processor voltage, AGP bus, memory, +3.3, +5 and +12 V, VBAT and +5 V Standby; 
  • speed of 3 fans; 
  • temperatures of the processor (a built-in sensor) and the board (a built-in sensor). 

There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 1 for unadjustable connection of fans. 

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 - 305x230 mm. 

Adjustment can be carried out with:

jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
Jumper enabling AGP4X Safeguard function  
BIOS based on AMI's 3.31a version Setup of memory timings + CAS Latency, Precharge Delay, RAS to CAS Delay, RAS Precharge, Burst Length
Setup of memory frequency + Auto, DDR200, DDR266, DDR333
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-x32
Changeable core voltage + 1.1-1.85 V in 0.025 V steps
Changeable memory voltage + 2.5-2.8 V in 0.1V steps
Changeable chipset voltage -  
Changeable AGP bus voltage + 1.5-1.8 V in 0.1V steps

We used the BIOS AQ1 as the latest available version. 

The only strong point of the board is a good range of tweaking and overclocking settings. So, it's meant for people short of money who do not want noname solutions and count on overclocking. 

Test results: 


Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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