iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Soltek 85MR3-R i845GE Based Mainboard

The milk-silvery coating of the Soltek's textolite looks really advantageous and we saw it before. In combination with an uncommon set of additional controllers the board seems to be oriented toward the home market. 


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

It's going to be uneasy to insert expansion cards, especially long, into the IDE, IDE RAID and FDD connectors as they are located behind the PCI slots; cables connected to the power supply jacks may worsen cooling of the CPU, and an inserted video card may lock the memory modules. It can be difficult to reach some jumpers when the board is already installed. Their functions are not shown on the textolite. 

The 2-channel switching voltage regulator incorporates 2 capacitors of 3300 uF and 9 of 2200 uF. 

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. 
  • IDE RAID controller based on the Promise PDC20376 chip supporting RAID 0 and 1 on the ATA133 and SATA protocols.

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

Two LEDs are used to indicate that an incompatible +3.3V video card is inserted and memory modules are supplied with +2.5 V. 

Non-unsoldered connectors: network controller and RJ45 connector. 

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

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

There are 2 connectors for adjustable and 3 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. 


with jumpers and switches Jumper to clear up the CMOS  
Jumper enabling AGP4X Safeguard  
Jumper to turn IDE RAID on/off  
Jumper for starting up computer from a PS/2 keyboard  
BIOS based on AMI's ver.3.31a 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 0.025V 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 AT1.2R as the latest available version. 

The model is not deprived of interesting features and can be recommended for home users with modest requirements who are not going to practice extreme overclocking. 

Test results: 

Dmitry Mayorov (destrax@ixbt.com

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