Basic Features: Soltek K8TPro-939

 Soltek SL-K8TPro-939 Motherboard Specifications
CPU Interface Socket 939 Athlon 64
Chipset VIA K8T800 Pro/VT8237
Bus Speeds 200MHz to 300MHz (in 1MHz increments)
PCI/AGP Speeds Asynchronous (Fixed) or Float
Core Voltage 0.8V to 1.7V, 0.025V increments to 1.5V, 0.05V increments 1.5V to 1.7V
DRAM Voltage Default, 2.6V to 2.8V in 0.1V increments
AGP Voltage Default, 1.5V-1.8V in 0.1V increments
2.5V (VDD) Voltage Default, 2.5V-2.8V in 0.1V increments
Hyper Transport Ratios 1x to 5x in 1X increments
CPU Ratios Auto, 4x to 20x in 1X increments
DRAM Speeds Auto, 100, 133, 166, 200
Memory Command Rate Auto, 1T, 2T
Memory Slots Four 184-pin DDR Dual-Channel Slots
Unbuffered Non-ECC Memory to 4GB Total
Expansion Slots 1 AGP 8X Slot
5 PCI Slots
Onboard SATA 2-Drive SATA by VIA VT8237 PLUS
2-Drive SATA by PDC20579
Onboard IDE Two Standard VIA ATA133/100/66 (4 drives)
Promise PDC20579 (2 Drives)
SATA/IDE RAID 2-Drive VIA SATA RAID plus 2-Drive Promise SATA RAID plus 2-Drive Promise IDE RAID. RAID 0, 1, JBOD
Onboard USB 2.0/IEEE-1394 8 USB 2.0 ports supported VIA VT8237
2 1394A FireWire ports by VIA VT6307
Onboard LAN 1 Gigabit Ethernet by VIA VT6122
Onboard Audio Realtek ALC850 AC'97 2.3 8-Channel with UAJ, SPDIF optical in and out
BIOS Award K8939FAE Beta 10/26/2004

The K8TPro-939 is powered by VIA's dual chip K8T800 Pro North Bridge and the VIA VT8237 South Bridge. For more information on this chipset, you can refer to our launch article for the chipset:
VIA K8T800 PRO: PCI/AGP Lock and 1000 HyperTransport for Athlon 64

The K8T800 Pro is targeted at both Socket 939 and Socket 754, and it provides 1000 HT speed to all current Athlon 64 sockets. This contrasts to nVidia's nForce3-250 family, which has both 800 HT and 1000 HT versions depending on the target board.

The Soltek SL-K8TPro-939 includes:

  • One round purple IDE cable color-coded to the black Soltek motherboard with purple slots
  • Two matching purple flat IDE cables
  • One matching purple flat floppy cable
  • Four Serial ATA data cables
  • Two Serial ATA power splitters supporting 4 SATA power connectors
  • One USB bracket with 2 ports
  • Quick Start Installation Guide
  • Manuals for both the Motherboard and System Utilites
  • Two CDs with Motherboard Drivers and Bonus CD with PC-Cillin 2004, Virtual Drive 7, RestoreIT! 3 Lite, Partition Magic 6.0 SE, and DriveImage 4.0
  • Promise PDC20579 Driver diskette
  • I/O shield

The Realtek ALC850 7.1 audio chip is appearing on many recent motherboards. This 8-channel audio codec is fully AC '97 2.3 compliant and features 16-bit 8-channel audio and auto-jack sensing with support for a full range of analog and digital IO. The ALC850 includes both Optical SPDIF in and out connectors on the rear IO panel.

The ALC850 Codec provides four pairs of stereo outputs, with 5-Bit volume controls and multiple stereo and mono inputs, along with flexible mixing, and gain and mute functions. Two 50mW/20ohm headset audio amplifiers are integrated at Front-Out and Surround-Out, and both amplifiers are selectable for Front-Out, Line-In and Mic-In as a Universal Audio Jack.

The real question here is why Soltek chose the Realtek codec instead of the excellent VIA Envy codec. We suspect that the answer has to do with the cost difference between the VIA and Realtek solutions.

You can find more information on the recently released ALC850 at Realtek.

Soltek provides a full selection of rear I/O ports. These include 6 programmable audio mini jacks plus optical SPDIF in and out connectors to support the Realtek ALC850. The back panel also includes PS2 mouse and keyboard, parallel, 1 serial, 1 standard Firewire (IEEE1394a), 4 USB, and a Gigabit Ethernet. There is no rear port for a Parallel Printer, but there is an onboard header for an optional parallel printer add-on cable.

The K8TPro-939 supports two SATA connectors driven by the VIA Southbridge. These 2 ports can be combined in Raid.

Soltek also supplies a Promise controller that supports two additional SATA drives and 2 more IDE drives. Drives can be configured as RAID on the Promise, but they cannot be combined in a RAID with the VIA drives.

Gigabit LAN is provided by the VIA VT6122. While the LAN is specified as 1 Gigabit, it is controlled by the PCI bus, which can limit throughput severely in some situations. Internet users will not see a slow-down, and generally, this will not make much (if any) difference in real-world performance. However, file transfers and gaming over a 1 Gigabit LAN will likely be slower on a Gigabit LAN on the PCI bus.

Four DIMM slots support up to 4GB of up to DDR400 memory in a Dual-Channel memory configuration. Dual-Channel 1 is DIMMs 1 and 2, and Dual-Channel 2 is DIMMs 3 and 4. Soltek also states that a single DIMM in slots 2 or 4, or a pair of DIMMs in 2+4 are non-bootable memory configurations.

Index Board Layout: Soltek K8TPro-939


View All Comments

  • WT - Monday, April 11, 2005 - link

    A Soltek response in the forums:
  • horsefly24 - Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - link

    Here is an update to the Soltek SL-KT8 Pro motherboard to the DDR400 bios problem Reply
  • bob661 - Tuesday, November 02, 2004 - link

    I have one of those boards but haven't tried the suggestion. I don't feel comfortable with cranking my HT up to 230 just to see if the damn locks work. Also, I'm going to try lowering the HT multiplier to see if that might enable the lock. I just wish Anand was a bit more precise in explaining how he got his lock to work.
  • Schro - Sunday, October 31, 2004 - link

    >We suspect that this generates enough US volume
    >that Soltek must wonder what the real value of
    >a US distributor would be.

    Soltek HAD an exclusive US distributor, a company doing business as "Soltek USA". They were one of the best distributors that I have ever dealt with (sent plenty of promo packs ;)... ). They called it quits because Soltek Taiwan sold direct to the Egg, who was supposed to be purchasing from the US distributor. This undercut Soltek USA's business, etc etc. Hence, they have been gone for over a year now.
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    #16 - We also tried 233 on the Soltek which also did not work.

    As for 939 reviews, the Gigabyte GA-K8NS Ultra-939 is a lower cost version of the GA-K8NSNXP-939, which we have already reviewed. Since we have already reviewed the flagship Gigabyte 939, we will not be reviewing the lower members of the same family. The same applies to the lower-featured versions of some MSI boards.

    The Asrock is based on the Uli chipset, and it's a possible review for the future. However, with PCIe boards coming, an AGP/PCI board with both sockets 754 and 939 probably won't find a slot in our review calendar.
  • thebluesgnr - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    Another great review, thank you Wesley.

    About PCI/AGP lock:
    "However, no matter what lower ratio we chose, the highest CPU clock setting that we could achieve with stability was 228"

    Some VIA K8T800 Pro boards without working locks have PCI/AGP dividers for 233 and 266MHz "FSB". Have you tried going from 228 directly to 233 on this board?

    About that, I remember the MSI K8T Neo2 review. You wrote:
    "We have been assured that shipping K8T Neo2 boards will have working PCI/AGP locks and we are passing this information to you."
    I've seen many people complain that their boards do not have working locks; I've read this in a review (
    "From 200MHz to about 212MHz, the K8T seemed to function normally. But at speeds from 212MHz through 230MHz, the board occasionally wouldn't POST. Speeds above 230MHz consistently worked, but we weren't very confident in our particular board's overclocking ability."

    It would be great if you guys could get one of these from retail channel (and not directly from MSI) to check this out and update that review.

    Anyway, with this Soltek review there are only two socket 939 boards listed in newegg not reviewd by AnandTech: ASRock K8 Combo-Z (cheapest s939 mobo, by $31) and Gigabyte GA-K8NS Ultra-939. If you could let us know if you'll review them I'd appreciate it. ;)
  • Gnoad - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    If there eventually is a BIOS update to this board that fixes the AGP lock, anandtech really needs to do a second review, or at least an update. This board looks like my future purchase if there ever is a updated bios. Reply
  • KrazyDawg - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    With the newer Asus motherboards, you won't have a problem with resetting the CMOS. There's an option to load defaults in the BIOS and if you're overclocking with an Asus motherboard and it fails to POST, it will reset the values to the ones previously used before you made the adjustment. Reply
  • Aikouka - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    #3, that floppy location is a pain, because if you ever have to get to the BIOS reset jumper, it makes it a lot harder, especially if you have a large case. I have a Thermaltake Xaser III V2000A, and it's a fairly large case. So a lot of my cables are stretched as far as they can go (especially from the PCI IDE card) and the floppy cable is no exception. At one point, I wanted to reset the bios, because the board was acting funny, and this was made extremely difficult by the location of the floppy connector and the bios reset jumper's location. One of the two should be moved to allow easier access. Also, the front panel connectors (Power switch, etc.) are below that, putting even more tight cables in the way.

    Looking at the picture, the JBAT jumper is located right beside the floppy cable, making it a pain to work with anyway.

    Just like on the SL-K8ANE2-GR the purple doesn't suit it very well.

    Soltek is really good with customer support, though. I was having problems with my board and they even sent me a beta BIOS to try out. Responses came back within 3 hours (usually around 1 hour.)

    Wesley, I don't know chip prices off-hand or anything, but I can't see how VIA's solution would add a great cost to the board when Chaintech sells a VIA ENVY pci sound card, which retails for $25 (retail) on newegg.
  • UnderScore - Thursday, October 28, 2004 - link

    I like that AT includes content creation & encoding tests and I realize that games are popular repeatable ways to stress test a system. Perhaps these MB reviews could be less focused on game performance and more on the MB's subsystems? Why not prove that the Gigabit LAN will be slower on the PCI bus rather than guessing that it will likely be slower. Am I to assume that USB, Firewire, Onboard digital I/O etc by default are all working perfectly if they are not mentioned? Testing & reporting of such items would make AT's testing methodolgy more balanced since just like #4 & #9 mentioned, not everyone is an overclocker & similarly not everyone plays games regularly (esp FPS).
    In closing, I thank you for all the work that you do & I hope you take this constructively as I had not intended to slam you or AT.

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