Soltek PT880PRO-FGR - Page 3

..:: Layout: Socket Area ::..

As we mentioned earlier in the review, Soltek has been known to be one of the most colorful manufacturers when it comes to PCB and device aesthetics. They’ve run through several different marketing schemes based on the coloration of the PCB, ranging from a yellow / gold color to silver, and now back to black, the second most popular PCB colors according to a previous reader poll. In order to match their latest scheme for the “Pro Series” motherboards, Soltek has chosen to implement as many purple connections as possible into the motherboard. The only two items on the board that fail to follow along with this scheme are the four-pin core voltage connector, and the processor socket itself. This is one of the few times that we have seen a motherboard following such a distinctive color scheme. Granted, we’ve seen motherboard of every PCB color out there, but the solidarity brought by a two color scheme is hard to find.

To start things off, we’re going to first examine the portion of the motherboard in and around the processor socket. The Socket478 is oriented in a lengthwise fashion from left to right, and is surrounded by the typical heatsink retention bracket that we are oh so familiar with. The Socket478 core area is covered by a small sticker boasting the support of 800MHz FSB Pentium 4 microprocessors. Not too much to boast about there, but if it will attract attention, why not. The area to the right of the retention mechanism is quite clear, featuring no components of note, unless you want to account for the various surface mounted ceramic capacitors, etc.

The PT880PRO-FGR utilizes a pairing of the Intersil ISL6556BCB, and HIP6601BCB IC’s for phase control, over / under voltage monitoring, and for driving the FET’s. The 6556BCB IC controls the voltage for the processor, and allows for up to 4 buck channels, a 6-Bit VID, and features integrated temperature compensation. Due to the 6-Bit VID input, this allows for voltages between .8375V to 1.600V in 12.5mV steps. This Intersil chip is widely popular on performance oriented Pentium 4 based motherboards, and is touted as being one of the best available. To the left of the 6556BCB IC, we come across the first string of several capacitors rated for a potential of 6.3V, and a capacitance of 3300uF. These KZG Series capacitors are manufactured by United Chemi-Con, and feature a leakage current rating of a mere 0.01CV, or 3uA over a period of two minutes. This follows right in line with ratings seen by several other high quality capacitors.

As we progress around the Socket478 towards the rear I/ O panel, we come across the remaining items that make up the real bulk of the PT880PRO-FGR’s core voltage power supply. We can see from visual examination that the PT880PRO-FGR utilizes a three-phase power delivery scheme, driving two FET’s per phase. Along the immediate left of the retention mechanism, we see tow more of 6.3V, 3300uF capacitors, along with three torodial inductors, and the various MOSFETs. Towards the rear of the unit, we find four more United Chemi-Con capacitors, all of which are rated for a potential of 16V and 1500uF capacitance. In the upper right hand corner, we find the yellow, three-pin power fan connector for the CPU fan, and a single black header for controlling Wake-On capabilities.