VIA KT333 in the test: EPoX 8K3A + against MSI KT3 Ultra ARU

VIA KT333 in the test: EPoX 8K3A + against MSI KT3 Ultra ARU

Table of contents
  1. 1 Introduction
  2. Addendum: Elitegroup K7S6A
  3. Are you spoiled for choice?
  4. 2 EPoX 8K3A +
    1. Scope of delivery & documentation
    2. Equipment/layout
    3. Bios/overclocking
  5. 3 MSI KT3 Ultra ARU
    1. Scope of delivery & documentation
    2. Equipment/Layout
    3. Bios/Overclocking
  6. 4 Test system
    1. SiSoft Sandra 2002 - Memory Test
    2. WinACE 2.11
    3. CineBench 2000
    4. 5 Quake3Arena
    5. Vulpine GLMark v1.1
    6. 6 3DMark 2000 v1.1
    7. CPUMark
    8. 3DMark 2001
  7. 7 Conclusion VIA KT333
  8. Rating EPoX 8K3A +
  9. Rating MSI KT3 Ultra (ARU)


The KT3 Ultra also follows in the great footsteps of its predecessor. The MSI KT2 Ultra, with its optional Raid controller and USB 2.0, is aimed more at the demanding user in terms of equipment.


Scope of delivery & documentation

MSI provided us the more extensive version of the KT3 Ultra is available for the review. The board in the 'ARU' version differs from its basic version in that it has an OnBoard raid controller from Promise and a USB 2.0 chip from NEC. As expected, the scope of delivery for this variant is generous. In addition to a whole range of cables and slot covers, the enclosed software should also be quite interesting. 'Fuzzy Logic', like the well-known SoftFSB tool from H.Oda, allowsRegulation of the FSB under Windows. Live Bios allows the board to be flashed comfortably from the desktop.

  • MSI KT3 Ultra ARU
  • 2x ATA66/100 cables
  • Floppy cables
  • USB cover (2 ports)
  • USB 2.0 cover (4 ports)
  • Sound cover
  • Manual (German/English), Raid Manual (German)
  • CD (Driver, Fuzzy Logic, MSI DVD Player)
MSI KT3 Ultra packaging
USB covers

When choosing a slot, MSI stuck to the standard version. One AGP, five PCI and one CNR slot can currently be found on almost every board. Only the 8K3A + offers six PCI slots.


The ARU version of the KT3 Ultra we have before us is characterized by the onboard raid controller and a USB 2.0 controller from NEC that is soldered to the board. Using the supplied slot cover, up to four connections can be led to the outside. Up to four, because if the optional Bluetooth adapter is used (more on this below), the fourth port must remain unused for reasons that are not specified.

Promise Raid & NEC Chip
USB 2.0 cover
Sound cover
USB 1.0 cover

Similar to the debug function of the 8K3A +, four LEDs led to the outside of the MSI provide practical help with possible boot errors. The number is clear heresmaller. However, the most important functions are there. The optional support for the Bluetooth wireless standard seems even more extravagant here. MSI has not yet delivered any boards with the matching bezel. However, this should be available soon and, thanks to the plug connections already available on the board, it should also be usable promptly. Incidentally, both versions of the KT3 Ultra have this function. Revision 1.0 was available for the test.


Also the Bios of the KT3 Ultra makes a good and extensive impression. The revision 5.3 used for our test (version 5.4 has been available for two days) has all relevant setting options for memory and CPU, so that nothing should stand in the way of courageous tweaking and overclocking. Although the options are more in the usual range (VCore 1.725 - 1.85; FSB -> 220MHz), paired with the possibility of increasing the voltage of the AGP and memory, they should really heat up every CPU.

The KT3 clocks almost perfectly Ultra its front-side bus. At 133.34MHz there really is no reason for complaint.


On the next page: Test system