MSI MS6309 - HotHardware

MSI MS6309

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Micro Star International's  MS6309
VIA Apollo Pro133A - Coppermine Ready Socket 370 Infused

April 10, 2000 By Dave Altavilla

 

Test System Specifications / Features
Standard issue performance rig

Full Tower ATX Case w/ 300W PS, Pentium III 500E overclocked to 600 and 750MHz. (supplied by Outside Loop Computers), MS-6309 Motherboard, 128MB of EMS PC133 SDRAM, WD Expert AC418000 7200 RPM ATA66 Hard Drive, Elsa Erazor X2 AGP , Kenwood 72X CDROM, Win 98SE, DirectX 7.0a

 

MS-6309 Installation / Setup
Tons O' Fun!
The MS-6309 setup quickly and easily in our test-bed system.  It was nice to just plunk the FCPGA down into the Socket without having to deal with Slotket.  It brought me back to the days of the original Pentium.  The board posted at 500MHz. and we quickly went into the BIOS for some tweaking.  It is not the standard Award BIOS that you may be use to seeing on BX based boards.  Instead, it is an AMI BIOS and it is every bit as good in our opinion.

CPU BIOS Setup
Click image

Much to my delight, the board comes with the ability to run the Front Side Bus speed all the way up to 200MHz.  The question is, will you be able to run a processor at this speed.  There is also a comprehensive health monitoring menu in the BIOS for temperature and voltage.  In addition, MSI gives you the ability to adjust CPU Core Voltage here.  One little note of concern was the fact the the VCore reading was consistently reporting different numbers than what we had set it to.  The system never had any issues related to this but it didn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Now, if you could find a CPU that would run on a 200MHz. Front Side Bus, the MS-6309 would take care that your SDRAM was running in check.  Since the VIA Apollo PRO133A has the ability to run the SDRAM clock asynchronously to the Front Side Bus, you can be assured stable operation at the standard 133MHz. spec.

There are a number of important features here including the ability to toggle AGP 4X on or off, IOQ Depth and the SDRAM Clock adjustment, which can be either PC100 or 133.  The RAM we used ran at PC133 or 133MHz with a CAS2 setting and stable.  These settings proved to be THE fastest configuration that we have seen to date with a VIA Apollo Pro133A board, when it comes to memory bandwidth.  Details on this to follow.

 

 

Overclocking With The MS-6309
Not too shabby but room for improvement

With all of the flexibility that the MS-6309's BIOS affords, we were anxious to see if we could get our P3-500E to new heights.  We were able to overclock the CPU to a max of 143MHz. FSB for a total of 715MHz.  This particular processor has been proven at 750MHz. (150X5) in a couple of other boards, so we were a little disappointed here.  When the FSB was set higher than 143, the system wouldn't post. This was the case no matter what voltage setting we used.  Again, with another BIOS release from MSI, this can be easily rectified as the settings are all there ready for use.

 
What really impressed about this board was its performance clock for clock versus other boards in this field.  Let's take a look!
 
  

Performance, Benchmarks and the Rating

 

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