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MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU KT333 Motherboard Review
MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU KT333 Motherboard Review - PCSTATS
MSI has always embraced new technology - often they are one of the first manufacturers to adopt, and the KT3 Ultra-ARU is no exception.
 84% Rating:   
Filed under: Motherboards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Mar 04 2002   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Motherboards > MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU


The USB and Audio headers are all located at the base of the board so wires will be localizd and can remain out of the way. This is also where a Bluetooth adaptor can be connected to the motherboard.

Below is what would seem to be MSI's version of Overclocking Stripes.


The MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU has the potential to be a real killer board. With all the extras you'd expect from MSI, such as onboard RAID, onboard sound and onboard USB 2.0, there isn't much else you would need! The board retails for about $145USD, which is pretty good value all things considered.

The VIA KT333 chipset is a little bit less defined as a true upgrade in chipsets as it seems that it may be more of a marketing ploy than a real advancement. This is not to say, that the chipset performs poorly, that couldn't be further from the truth, but with the "333" in its name you would expect performance to be substantially above that of the KT266A.

As you can see in our benchmarks, be it SysMark, Content Creation or 3DMark2001 SE there really isn't much difference between the older KT266A chipset and the KT333 - heck even SiSoft Sandra 2002 Pro couldn't tell the difference between the two.

 The onboard audio is a little disappointing since it uses the AC'97 codec to achieve 5.1 sound. USB 2.0 is a great idea and hopefully more motherboard manufacturers will hop on the bandwagon as MSI has done to increase the adoption of this new standard.

Stability was not a problem with the KT3 Ultra and we did not encounter one single BSOD during testing unless it was due to user error. Like other boards in its class, MSI has given the enthusiast in us all a chance to take full control of the system with its memory tweaks and full set of overclocking tools.

If you're contemplating buying a new motherboard for DDR333 compatibility you may want to hold off for just a bit further, or possibly till the KT400 chipset is released. If on the other hand you are simply in the market for a really good performing board with a ton of features, which is on par with KT266A boards, than the MSI KT3 Ultra will satisfy your needs.

DDR333 still seems to be too much of a catch phrase, and not enough of a performance increase to warrant buying motherboards strictly for it. Personally, I was kind of hoping that the rumors of the KT333 being scraped were true and the KT400 (aka KT333A) would be released early, however that was not to be the case. Of all the aspects we have touched upon, the most interesting would have to be the silk screened markings for what seem to be future AMD FSB settings. Does the KT400 support a 166 MHz CPU FSB? We'll have to wait and see...

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Contents of Article: MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU
 Pg 1.  MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU KT333 Motherboard Review
 Pg 2.  USB2.0 & Bluetooth
 Pg 3.  KT3 Ultra BIOS
 Pg 4.  Office Benchmarks
 Pg 5.  Gaming Benchmarks
 Pg 6.  — Conclusions

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