Soltek KT600-R: Basic Features


 Motherboard Specifications
CPU Interface Socket-462
Chipset VIA KT600 North Bridge
VIA VT8237 South Bridge
Bus Speeds 100 to 233MHz (in 1MHz increments)
Core Voltages Supported 1.10V to 1.850V (in 0.025V increments)
AGP Voltages Supported 1.5V to 1.8V (in 0.1V increments)
DRAM Voltages Supported 2.5V to 2.8V (in 0.1V increments)
Chipset Voltage None
CPU Multiplier Ratios 5X to 18X
Memory Slots 3 x 184-pin DDR DIMM Slots
Expansion Slots 1 AGP 8X Slot
6 PCI Slots
Onboard IDE RAID Standard ATA 133/100/66
Supporting up to 4 IDE devices
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394 8 USB 2.0 ports supported by 8237
No FireWire
Onboard LAN None
Onboard Audio VIA VT1616 18-bit 6-channel codec
Onboard Serial ATA/RAID VIA VT8237 Serial ATA and SATA RAID
BIOS Revision Version AA1R

The Soltek KT600-R comes in the foil-faced embossed package that is used for many Soltek motherboards. The extras are a floppy and IDE cable, 2 SATA cables and a very nice Sata Power Adapter cable that converts one hard drive (Molex) cable to 2 SATA power connectors. As is standard on Soltek motherboards, an extra Utility CD is included that contains PC-Cillin 2002 anti-virus, Farstone’s VirtualDrive 7 and RestoreIT 3 Lite, and Powerquest’s Partition Magic 6.0 SE and DriveImage 4.0. There are 2 versions of the KT600 listed at the Soltek’s website. The KT600-R (the version tested) has SATA RAID and the KT600-RL adds on-board 10/100 LAN. We doubt Soltek will bring both models into all markets, so you will need to check locally to see what model(s) are available.

Like the earlier NV400-L64, this Soltek board is purple or plum-colored. The board is smaller than full-size and uses 6 standoffs in 2 rows for mounting, where full-size boards generally use 9 or 10 standoffs in 3 rows for case mounting. This small motherboard should have no trouble fitting into any standard case.



After complaining that most of the major board makers did not use VIA’s sound solution, we were pleasantly surprised to find the VIA VT1616 audio codec on the Soltek. The VT1616’s advantage is that it can offer high fidelity sound while using the analog out port. This is not the case for nForce2 motherboards, which use the ALC650/655 codec. In other words, the VT1616 codec provides better sound than an MCP-T powered nForce2 motherboard unless you make use of a SPDIF-out port and have speakers with a receiver. We expected that one of the major manufacturers would be using the more capable VT1616, but we are happy to see it used on the Soltek KT600. For more information on the VT1616, go to www.viatech.com/en/multimedia/vt1616.jsp.

The flexible VIA VT1616 setup is welcomed on a board designed to sell for a reasonable price, but be aware that with 3 jacks, you cannot simultaneously run 6 speakers and a microphone. This will important for some and of no consequence for others. Unfortunately, there are no SPDIF connectors or provisions for adding an SPDIF bracket to the board.


The Soltek KT600-R uses the latest VIA VT8237 South bridge, which provides support for Serial ATA and SATA RAID configuration. Most KT600 boards that we have evaluated have Serial ATA support.


Click image to view a larger picture.


The KT600-R I/O ports configuration is the standard assortment that you will find on the standard ATX backplate, which comes with most cases. The arrangement of ports follows the standard layout, so Soltek does not include a backplate. Included are: two PS/2 ports, two serial ports, one parallel port, two USB 2.0 ports, and Mic In, Line In, and Line Out, which drive the onboard sound and are configurable for rear/sub/center outputs if desired. The board does not offer any IEEE1384 Firewire ports, but we don’t normally expect to find Firewire on motherboards in this price range.

There are two ATA133 IDE ports, supporting up to four IDE devices. 3 dimm slots, supporting up to 3GB of memory, are provided on the KT600-R. Memory speeds up to DDR400 are supported.

Other than the VIA KT1616 audio codec, there are no real surprises with the Soltek KT600-R. It includes what we would expect in a board designed to sell for a reasonable price. The plum or purple color makes it stand out from the crowd, and the Soltek Utilities CD is a useful addition.
Index Soltek KT600-R: Board Layout
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  • Anonymous User - Sunday, October 05, 2003 - link

    I agree, get rid of the flash. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, September 05, 2003 - link

    As a system builder who has been using Soltek motherboard for around 18 months in new systems that we build, I recently found out that Soltek do not replace motherboards that fail under warranty. Instead they have to be sent back to the factory in Taiwan where Soltek repair them.

    This is obviously unacceptable, particularly for a business user who can't afford to be without a PC for a month. If you agree, please send email to donald@soltek.com.tw to tell them what you think

    In fairness to Soltek, their motherboards are very reliable, so its never been an issure until just recently for us. As a connsequence, we now use another brand of motherboard in the PCs we build.

    Please feel free to contact me on peter@ctsgrafton.com.au
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, September 04, 2003 - link

    Nice review Wes. But I dont' like the flash either, seems like it doesn't always show up ???

    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - link

    #10, you're stupid. Flash is used by any large web site nowadays. Get used to it. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - link

    Ugh! Please get rid of the flash! Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 02, 2003 - link

    No problems using three DIMM's here, even at 200MHz FSB/Memory operation. (above official specs) Not being able to go nuts on the timings doesn't really matter. Practical performance is not hurting noticeably. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, September 01, 2003 - link

    As I have mentioned in my KT600 reviews, I have often needed to go to a Command Rate of 2 instead of the more usual 1 for best stability on the KT600 with 2 or 3 dimms. However, I have not noticed that the 2 setting degraded performance by very much. My experience has not mirrored what Kyle is reporting at HardOCP, and I really can't explain it.

    You can NOT use nForce2 type timings on a KT600. The boards were not designed to handle them, nor are they necessary for best memory performance. Those holding on to fast memory timings are always faster need to run a few benchmarks, because it is not always true.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 01, 2003 - link

    Im surprised about the comments on stability with KT600 boards. According to HardOCP, all KT600 boards they have tested (including Abit & Epox) are quite unstable with 2 DIMMs inserted.
    Reply
  • Zepper - Monday, September 01, 2003 - link

    addendum to earlier post:
    As I see it, the DFI SiS based mobo just reviewed really lost out by not including the P4 connector. For a budget system, you want all your costs to be kept down, not just the mobo. You will still have to shell out for an overpowered PSU to run it...
    .bh.
    Reply
  • Zepper - Monday, September 01, 2003 - link

    Thanks for the good reviews, Wes! I particularly like the fact that you make an issue of the P4 power connector in AMD mobo reviews. Finally AMD fans don't have to pay for overpowered PSUs as most AMD solutions will be able to run on a good 200W PSU. Even OCd and multiple drive systems should be able to get by on a good 250Watter.
    . Keep drilling on the P4 - make it a big demerit in reviews of AMD mobos that lack this feature.
    .bh.
    Reply

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