Clash of the KT266A Titans!

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Clash of the KT266A Titans! - Page 4

Clash of the KT266A Titans!
Motherboards from Abit, Asus, Soyo and MSI Do Battle!

By, Marco Chiappetta
December 13, 2001

THE MSI K7T266 Pro 2's BIOS:

        

       

Initially, 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...

THE MSI K7T266 Pro 2's LAYOUT:

     

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 feature "D-LED", 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?

Tags:  ita, Titan, Titans, K

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