THE MSI K7T266 Pro 2's BIOS:
the K7T266 Pro 2's BIOS may look familiar, but take a
closer look. This isn't the Award BIOS that we're all
so familiar with, it's a similar looking BIOS from
American Megatrends (AMI).
The K7T266 Pro 2's BIOS is
comprehensive, giving users complete control over
their CPU, memory and Integrated peripherals. Memory
tweaks are available, and a very complete set of
overclocking options can e found in the "Hardware
Monitor" section of the BIOS, allowing for adjustments
of CPU multiplier, Front Side Bus (Up to 164MHz in
1MHz increments) and voltage. You'll see a little
later that this board was a good overclocker...
Layout and Quality
Ton's O' Fun...
MSI K7T266 Pro 2's
There is nothing new to report
regarding the external case connectors on the K7T266 Pro
2. The only "extra" connectors there are for the
on-board AC'97 compliant Creative Labs audio. The
expansion slots are configured in a, adequate 1 AGP Pro, 5
PCI and 1 CNR slot arrangement. Again though,
because this board shipped with USB 2.0, on-board RAID and
Audio, we won't fault MSI for choosing this slot
configuration. There is plenty of room around the
CPU socket, and the ATX power connector is well placed at
the top of the board
It's tough to see, but in this
next picture, alongside the yellow audio connectors,
you'll find the 4 Diagnostic LEDs. MSI dubs this
these LEDs will help users diagnose potential hardware
problems during the POST. One of the secondary USB brackets included
with the K7T266 Pro 2 is also equipped with 4 external
LEDs that mimic that actions of the ones mounted on the
board. Should a problem arise, you may be able to diagnose
it without even opening the case!
The MSI K7T266 Pro 2 was the
only board in the round-up that shipped without active
cooling mounted on the Northbridge. The gold passive
heatsink was mounted using some fairly strong thermal
tape. Normally we don't like to see passive
Northbridge cooling, but the KT266A doesn't generate
enough heat to make active cooling a necessity...and as
you'll see later it didn't have any adverse affects on
stability or overclockability.
In this last picture you can
see the NEC USB 2.0 controller and the plethora of
USB headers on this board. The on-board IDE, Floppy
and RAID connectors are mounted similarly to the
KR7A-RAID. The IDE and Floppy connectors are mounted
parallel to the edge of the board behind the DIMM slots,
and the RAID connectors are mounted a little lower,
perpendicular to the edge of the board...
What About Overclocking?