The Soltek SL-915GPro-FGR BIOS and Overclocking
Initially, the BIOS that came with the SL-915GPro-FGR looked similar to the many we see day in and day out. Unfortunately, that wasn't entirely true once we delved a bit deeper into its layers. Soltek appeared to take some steps to organize the various settings in a tree type menu as seen in the top center image. Each section was broken down into common categories for simpler organization. However, we often felt like we were hunting to find certain options, meaning the breakdown could be more concise. On top of that, there were several misspellings, as seen in the Health Monitor screen, and some of the instructions for certain settings simply made no sense. We should note that the retail box also contained several obvious misspellings and awkward verbiage. Sadly, the manual fell short as well, offering little additional information on some of the BIOS settings, other than restating what was already on the screen.
Typos and poor organization aside, the BIOS did hold many of the advanced settings the performance enthusiast would be looking for. We found ample voltage and timing adjustments as well as advanced system monitoring and fan control.
When looking at the voltage adjustments, the SL-915GPro-FGR was well equipped. The Core voltage was adjustable from 1.5 - 1.8v in increments of .1v and the memory could be adjusted from 2.6 - 2.9v in the same steps. The CPU voltage options were not as broad as the ASUS model, ranging from 1.425 - 1.6v in increments of .025v.
The DDR memory offered the typical array of options including CAS Latency settings from 2, 2.5 and 3. Additionally, RAS-to-CAS and Precharge options ranged from 2 to 5 clocks in steps of 1 clock. The FSB was adjustable from 200MHz to 350MHz, but as we will soon see, we could only take advantage of a fraction of that potential.
As with any good motherboard, we're always eager to see how much extra headroom is built into the design. With the SL-915GPro-FGR, however, our hopes were soon dashed. With this particular board, we were taken aback when the board would pause and recover from a failed overclock with the FSB set any higher than 225MHz. We were quite surprised and surely felt we were missing something in the BIOS. We tried a number of hardware combinations, including a different video card and the integrated graphics, all of which resulted in the same behavior. In frustration, and feeling somewhat unnerved that we might be missing an obvious setting, we reached out to our contact at Soltek. As it turned out, their R&D team confirmed they are seeing the same issue. At this point, they are investigating the problem and intend to address it in a future revision. This may cause them some headaches with users looking for a solid overclocking board with this particular revision. In the end, this can be a significant strike against an otherwise good product, unless overclocking is not in your plans.