IntroductionSoltek 8KAN2E-GR nForce3 250Gb S754 Motherboard
Talking in terms of AMD's consumer platforms, the main focus of enthusiasts' attention has been on Socket-939. AMD Athlon 64 FX-55 and 4000+ processers were released recently and cemented AMD's current high-end dominance. S939 also has an obvious performance edge over S754. The ability to literally double memory bandwidth over Socket-754 by using processors with dual-channel memory controllers is a boon for performance. In actual number terms, S939's 128-bit data path offers up a potentially juicy 6.4GB/s at DDR400 speeds, compared with 3.2GB/s for single-channel S754.
S754 processors, therefore, may not be quite as quick as identical-clocked S939 counterparts but they are significantly cheaper. As a guide, a 2.2GHz, 512kb Athlon 64 in S939 form (3500+) costs around £215. The same speed and cache processor in S754 form, Model 3200+, costs a mere £145. All of the above is a long-winded attempt at stating that S754 still has considerable value attached to it. That's why most motherboard manufacturers tend to release fully-loaded S939 boards and slightly barer, cheaper S754 models.
Soltek's has at least 5 distinct motherboards for S754, split between VIA and NVIDIA chipsets. Today I'm taking a look at an nForce3 250Gb-based Soltek board that combines a decent feature set with a low street price. Without further ado, then, time to get jiggy with Soltek's SL-K8AN2E-GR. The name's not going to win any prizes, but the 'board just might.