AMD’s success is due in some part to Via Technologies. We had a couple of niggles about the layout, the placing of the ATX connector was somewhat strange. The inclusion of ATA support is another future-proof move that should pay dividends as soon as hard drives catch up. Thankfully, we have more than enough room around the CPU socket to mount large coolers. We overclocked the processor, ran different modules of RAM, used the most aggressive memory timings available.

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One pleasant suprise for us is the estimated price. The black borders are cropped to save unnecessary encoding time. Fitted with an all-in-one monoblock which matches the Gigabyte Aorus aesthetic. Via’s engineers were given the task of improving the KTA’s lacklustre performance, they came up with something not far short of remarkable. ultga

MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU – motherboard – ATX – Socket A – KT Overview – CNET

Other benchmarks from the same demo showed a lesser variance in results. Again, at first glance, the official support for DDR seems a shade academic.

We see the standard 5 PCI slots bit, 33Mhz along with a rather redundant CNR slot, we’d wish motherboard manufacturers would dispense with these. Support from most major motherboard manufacturers was quickly garnered, a partnership that has successfully lasted until the present day.

VIA KT333 Motherboard Roundup – June 2002

Ideally, we would have liked to see the full complement of DDR slots. Let’s illustrate our point pictorially.


As the Athlon matured, so did Via’s chipsets. A vivid red greets you as you open the box. Let’s also have a look at what happens if we disable the enhanced optimisations that are automatically applied to the Sisoft Sandra memory benchmark.

MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU – motherboard – ATX – Socket A – KT333 Series

The slightly increased usable memory bandwidth available allows the MSI in DDR mode to pull ahead of itself in DDR mode by approximately 10fps, not a significant amount, but one that by now we expected. However, we ran the MSI KT3’s result three times, each time the results were within a second of each other, so we can be sure of our ulttra. This one takes a while to complete. Often it is these little things that really only cause issues when the board is installed and you ,si to get at something without pulling out bunch of wires or cards.

The first thing that is clearly evident here is the the evolutionary nature of the KT chipset. Interestingly, on closer inspection of the board, we see markings kkt3 indicate FSB CPU operation selectable by jumper. FSB selection is flexible too, ranging from – Mhz in 1Mhz increments, something which the overclocking and tweaking community will be grateful for.

This allows them to be in close proximity to the drives they service. The Lobby tests are known to be especially bandwidth-hungry, a fact that is borne out by our results. The greater memory throughput available allows the Athlon to truly flex its muscles in this test. In that time we didn’t have one crash that could be attributable to the motherboard, It was and is the paradigm of stability. More of a theoretical test as no-one we know plays at this resolution.


To measure the limitation of our board, we used a factory-unlocked 1. Although packaging is something we usually don’t talk about, it’s obvious that MSI has spent some time to money to make their motherboard boxes look good. It’s always reassuring and confidence inducing to see a motherboard boot-up first time. It seems as if Via are more than content with the performance of the KTA chipset as no major performance enhancements are evident with the KT The first thing that strikes you about this board is the colour.

The silver North bridge fan adds an element of class to the package. The full title of this motherboard gives you an idea of what to expect. With a 4x AGP 2.

We’re reviewing a full production model from one the most well-regarded motherboard manufacturers, MSI Micro Star International. Installation was a breeze with no untoward incidents to report.

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