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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [03.07.05]
Manufactured by: Soltek

Lowest Price Finder $122

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Rear Panel Header

Although I don't necessarily mind the absence of an LPT1 port on a newer motherboard, it should at least be replaced with something useful, especially if you're not going to include an external port for the header that is already onboard. In this case, we get nothing. Therefore, four USB ports are supported (with two headers onboard, to make for a potential total of eight individual ports). Only one PCI USB panel is included though, so hope that your case has some USB ports built-in, or you'll be shopping for USB connectivity if you need it.

Soltek used TOSlink ports for digital input and out. I prefer Coax, because cables are much more readily available; almost no motherboards come with digital audio cables. (Digital Coaxial cables are idential to Video Coaxial cables, so can interchanged with no problems at all). I do like the inclusion of FireWire however.

Cables Galore

Soltek certainly did not skimp on the cable bundle:

I found it somewhat odd that only one rounded IDE cable was included, with a pair of ribbon cables. I do like how the colours match with the whole package, although I would have liked to see matching SATA cables as well. Soltek is one of the few boards I've seen that come with 90 degree SATA cables. Although not necessary, these cables could potentially be life savers, depending on the case being used (I know we could have used them in our review of the Silverstone TJ05)!

As far as the software bundle goes, you get a basic drivers disc, which also comes with a hardware monitor and Overclocking utility. You also get PC-Cillin 2004, an Antivirus and Internet Security program, VirtualDrive 7, a CDROM emulator, and RestoreIT! 3 Lite, a backup utility.

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