MSI KT3 Ultra ARU Motherboard Review

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The MSI KT3 Ultra ARU Motherboard Review - Page 3


The MSI KT3 Ultra ARU Motherboard Review
KT333 Muscle and All the Trimmings!

By, Jeff Bouton
March 24, 2002


Benchmarks and Comparisons Continued...
DirectX, OpenGL and The Winstones...

OpenGL with Quake 3:

To give you a good idea of what to expect with OpenGL gaming and the MSI KT3 Ultra ARU, we ran the Quake 3 Demo 001 at three popular resolutions.  In this benchmark we turn the video settings to High-Quality and set the colors to 32-Bit.  As in earlier tests, the scores were compared to the ASUS A7N266-E.

At the lower resolutions, the ASUS board had a marginal lead over the KT3, although as the resolution increased, the tides turned in favor of the MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU.  Either way you look at it, triple digits at 1600x1200x32 speaks for itself.

Direct X with MadOnion's 3DMark2001

Now it's DirectX's turn to strut its stuff with 3DMark2001.  We ran this test on each board with the same GeForce3 Ti500 installed at 800x600 and 1024x768 with 32-Bit color depth.

This time around the MSI KT3 maintained a solid edge over the ASUS A7N266-E motherboard at both resolutions.  With a little bit of overclocking of both the motherboard and video card, a score in excess of 10,000 points is well within reach.

Business Winstone 2001:

Now that the gaming oriented tests are complete, we'll take a look at the systems overall ability to process business related applications using Business Winstone 2001.  Below is the description from the etestinglabs website of how Business Winstone 2001 tests a systems performance.

"Business Winstone is a system-level, application-based benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance when running today's top-selling Windows-based 32-bit applications on Windows 98 SE, Windows NT 4.0 (SP6 or later), Windows 2000, Windows Me, or Windows XP. Business Winstone doesn't mimic what these packages do; it runs real applications through a series of scripted activities and uses the time a PC takes to complete those activities to produce its performance scores. The CD-ROM that contains Business Winstone includes all the files and application portions you need to run the benchmark."

With Business Winstone 2002, the MSI KT3 Ultra ARU lagged behind the Asus A7N2366-E system when run on a single-drive.  Although, once we set up the RAID-0, the score improved tremendously, with a gain of over 21%, clearly showing the potential gains of a RAID-0 array.  This test demonstrates that there is little in the business application world that this board can't handle efficiently.  But then there is Content Creation 2002.

Content Creation Winstone 2002:

Content Creation 2002 focuses on systems ability to run multimedia intensive applications.  Below is the description from the etestinglabs  website of how Content CreationWinstone 2002 tests a systems performance.

"Content Creation Winstone is a system-level, application-based benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance when running top, Windows-based, 32-bit, content creation applications on Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows Me, or Windows XP. Content Creation Winstone 2002 uses the following applications:

  • Adobe Photoshop 6.0.1

  • Adobe Premiere 6.0

  • Macromedia Director 8.5

  • Macromedia Dreamweaver UltraDev 4

  • Microsoft Windows Media Encoder

  • Netscape Navigator 6/6.01

  • Sonic Foundry Sound Forge 5.0c (build 184)

Following the lead of real users, Content Creation Winstone 2002 keeps multiple applications open at once and switches among those applications. Content Creation Winstone 2002 is a single large test that runs the above applications through a series of scripted activities and returns a single score. Those activities focus on what we call "hot spots," periods of activity that make your PC really work--the times where you're likely to see an hourglass or a progress bar."

This time around, the KT3 Ultra ARU lead the way over the ASUS board, posting an impressive 31.8 points with a single-drive and 35.4 with RAID-0.  When it comes to multimedia rich content, the KT3 Ulta ARU is up to the task, RAID or no RAID.

Throughout testing of the MSI KT3 Ultra ARU we were continually impressed with its performance and quality.  With an excellent selection of the most current features available, such as USB 2, ATA133 and DDR SDRAM bandwidth up to 333MHz., the KT3 offers a lot of horsepower.  No matter what you may have in store for the KT3 Ultra ARU, it has the capacity to get the job done in good fashion.  As more systems incorporate the new KT333 chipset, we have a feeling that, in time, the KT3 Ultra ARU should prove itself to be a leader in the performance motherboard market. 

Along with its great performance and stability, the board is simply gorgeous to look at too.  If you are a serious gamer/overclocker thinking of building a dream machine, the MSI KT3 Ultra ARU would be a great choice if you were planning on using a case with a plexi-glass window.  When it came to overclocking this system, we had a good overall experience, boosting the system performance by 11%.  We found the D-LED feature to be a very useful tool and believe it may prove to be helpful to the serious overclocking enthusiast.  If you are in the market for a new high-performance Athlon based system, the MSI KT3 Ultra ARU could be the board for you.

In conclusion, this reviewer was very impressed with the KT3 Ultra ARU and found it to be a terrific motherboard.  For excellent overall quality, performance and craftsmanship, we give the MSI KT3 Ultra ARU an enthusiastic Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of a 9 as well as Editor's Choice for its overall excellence.


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Tags:  MSI, Motherboard, MS, Ultra, T3, review, board, view, ULT, IE, AR, K

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