A bad layout for me can be the difference between getting and ignoring a new motherboard, regardless of what features or performance it offers. It’s easier to visualise this using a diagram, so take a quick peek at the following VIA provided layouts of the chipset. This board was installed fully in a case and since it shares the exact same mounting points as should all similar sized motherboards conforming to the ATX spec as the previous occupant of the case, the Abit KG7-RAID, installation was simple. However after months of delay, VIA essentially allowed its competition to gain a foothold in the marketplace first. A closer inspection of the CPU socket reveals something a bit more disturbing. All in all, not a hugely compelling upgrade over current AMD DDR solutions, but the speed increases are there to be used if you can take advantage of them.
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Load of room around the socket is always a welcome bonus. I get no sound out of the speakers or headphones; the sperakers are on and the volume is turned up.
Let’s start with Sandra first pr2 MSI were kind enough to courier me their latest, not-even-on-the-website, motherboard for review, the K7T Pro2.
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Before we get to the benchmarks, let’s take a look at the test system. I now have all kinds of sound.
It’s a nice addition and gives you an extra piece of mind and seems to work well. Taking a look at the picture of the motherboard and starting at the top, we can see that the ATX connector is to the left of the CPU socket, right in the corner.
This board initially faired just as badly. It was among the slowest chipsets around and it had one glaring problem – when the bus speed exceeded MHz, USB devices stopped working. Thanks to The Overclocking Store. While I think comparing temperatures, even across identical motherboards is a futile exercise, being able to measure CPU temperature as accurately as possible on the board in use is very important and the MSI can’t hope to do this unfortunately.
It’s the little things all rolled into one that make the MSI stand out for me. Software is also installed on the operating system that stops the OS from functioning properly if the correct SmartKey isn’t detected. The inclusion of things like USB2. It’s certainly eye catching, that’s for sure. They connect to a header on the motherboard and mirror the 4 LED’s above the audio connectors on the ATX backplane that are visible if you open the case.
There are a total of 6 USB 1. This means new motherboard designs using V-MAP family chips are quick and relatively painless to implement. We are rendering the pawns scene here at x resolution. Considering this, here’s the formal spec for the chipset.
Ships with the following: Performance is good and overall the board seems great. I always like to take a look at the layout of the motherboards that pass through my system.
Support For K7T Pro2 | Motherboard – The world leader in motherboard design | MSI Global
One of the biggest selling points of this new lro2 of KTA boards is the increased performance. Everything else is standard. In this case, moving from the KT to the new A version should really be as easy as dropping the new chipset into the place of the old.
Notice that SSE benchmarks are performed in this test. The version used doesn’t detect the Athlon MP correctly, complaining of an unknown processor stepping code.
Lastly, as you can see, the PCB is bright red! MSI also had the foresight to stick down two clear pieces of plastic beneath each of the 2 center socket clips where you attach heatsinks. This board was installed fully in a case and since it shares the exact same mounting points as should all similar sized motherboards conforming to the ATX spec as the previous occupant of the case, the Abit KG7-RAID, installation was simple.
It may be a component in my setup, it may be a BIOS setting tweaked wrongly but I’m sure more memory performance is there to be unlocked. Board layout as we’ve discussed is fine.