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Executive Summary
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Test Setup And Overclocking


MSI K7T Pro: A Solid Perfomer
Page 1 of 8
Author: wymun
Date of review: 24-August-2000
Type Of Review: Mainboards

Executive Summary
The K7T Pro represents MSI's latest addition to their line of Athlon-based motherboards. However, unlike its predecessor, the K7T Pro comes in a Socket-A interface to specifically handle the AMD Duron and Thunderbird CPUs launched a few months back.

Powered by VIA's latest KT133 chipset, the MSI K7T Pro provides AGP 4x capability with a native dual ATA-66 channels. In addition, it comes bundled with a Promise based PCI controller IDE card (repackaged as MS6915), which adds another 2 channels of ATA-100 device support.

Besides sporting 1 AGP / 5 PCI / 1 ISA and 3 DIMM slots config, MSI has in-built audio capabilities together with a gameport onto the motherboard for expansive options. Coupled by the extensive FSB selections (up to 167MHz!) and Vcore / Vio settings, the board also provides users with ample overclocking options.

Performance Overview
Performance-wise, the MSI K7T Pro doesn't disappoint. The new 1.03v BIOS finally corrects the speed setting anomaly experienced with earlier versions, such that selecting "100+33 MHz" memory timings in the BIOS produces exceptional results.

Granted that Winbench99 scores are not that extraordinary, it still gives on-par performance with similar systems. As an added bonus, the Promise ATA-100 card offers accelerated performance, albeit not as significant as I had initially envisaged.

Regarding overclocking prospects, I managed to attain 715MHz (6.5 x 115MHz) on my AMD Duron 650MHz. This is akin to the beta MSI K7T Pro I had tested previously and likely hampered by the Duron's 200MHz EV6+ bus sensitivities. Yet, without a multiplier unlock, it is not possible to truly tap its full overclocking potential.

A Tweakster's Dream??

Our recommendations
Admittedly, other makes (like the Asus A7V) have also sprouted their own motherboards under the VIA KT133 chipset, with slightly neater features. Still, there is no faulting the MSI K7T Pro as a board that delivers as promised. In that respect, I have no reservations about its stability cum performance, and duly recommend it for fellow Duron / Thunderbird users.

For the full-review, click here.

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