Soltek SL-915GPro-FGR - Page 2

..:: SL-915GPro-FGR Packaging ::..

One of the most disappointing trends I have seen as of late, stretching all the way from Tier Two and Three to Tier One manufactures is to skimp out on hardware and cabling inclusions in their latest product lines. Given the price that many of these boards are fetching, I would expect them to come with a little more than the absolute bare essentials. Now, sure some boards are bought for overclocking only, and not for the package, and some boards are bought for their value which has a lot to do with the package. As you all know, I try to find a balance between the two that will cater to all users, rather than one specific group. In this aspect, Soltek has done a good job with their product package.

First off, let’s cover the overall quality of the manual, an area many tend to overlook. A terrible manual can greatly hamper a new builder’s ability to put their new board to full use. Luckily, the manual that comes along with the SL-915GPro-FGR is quite detailed. We’ve seen manufacturers steadily increasing both the quantity and quality of information that they provide in their user manuals, and the SL-915GPro-FGR illustrates this fact. The hardware installation portion is quite detailed, and features a good overview of the motherboard, detailed pin out diagrams for those users with front panel USB ports, and easy to follow driver installation instructions.

When it comes to covering the BIOS, I’d say that Soltek has once a good job of providing the end user with all of the necessary information they’ll need. Normally, we’ll see manufacturers skimp out when it comes to covering the BIOS options, but this can’t be said for this board. Soltek provides excellent coverage of the various tweaking and overclocking adjustments that are allowed, as well as providing detailed explanations covering other BIOS options that are available to the end user.

Soltek has also chosen to integrate the RAID setup instructions into the main manual, something we’ve begun to see manufacturers doing more of lately. Soltek has also chosen to include documentation offering extensive detail on the installation and use of their various software programs such as PC-Cillin 2004, VirtualDrive7, and more. In our dealings with Soltek products, they’ve never let us down when it comes to providing quality documentation and user information.

As I’ve already mentioned, lately it seems hardware is one area of motherboard packages where we’ve seen things take a real hit. With the increasing push for users to move to Serial ATA hard disk drives, we’ve seen more and more manufacturers leaving out IDE cables, and throwing in some additional Serial ATA cables instead. This is fine and grand, as it’s the way things work when it comes to getting the world to adopt a new technology. The real pain comes about when you’ve got little support cable wise for either platform. Luckily, this issue isn’t prevalent with Soltek’s SL-915GPro-FGR. Soltek has included one rounded IDE cable, along with two other flat IDE cables. The standard floppy ribbon cable has also been included. Soltek offers four Serial ATA data cables, and two Molex splitters to power four Serial ATA devices. On some boards, we’ve seen more data cables than power cables, or vice versa. The final item we find is a two port USB 2.0 expansion bracket.

Overall I’d have to say this is one of the better packages I’ve dealt with on an i915G offering. Given that these boards are meant more for budgeted users looking to upgrade to the latest processor, it isn’t too surprising to see less hardware or cabling inclusions with the package, but Soltek has chosen to supply everything the end user would need. I was more than happy with both the quality and quantity of documentation that has been included with the SL-915GPro-FGR, and really, there isn’t much more you could ask for given the feature set of the board.