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MSI K7N2 Delta-ILSR: Whilst the original nForce2 supports DDR400, it doesn't officially support 400 FSB and as we have come to learn, the best performance can be found when running your FSB and memory synchronously. This is where the nForce 2 Ultra 400 steps in.
Date: July 11, 2003
Written By:


The upgrade bug is a fiendish devil at times, occasionally sneaking up on enthusiasts without warning. It can often be difficult to resist the temptations of the latest and the greatest in an effort to squeeze out that little extra performance or gain new hardware features. In the motherboard market things usually happen a bit more slowly when compared to items such as CPU's and graphics cards although motherboards upgrade cycles are gaining momentum as new ideas and features are implemented. When it comes to the AMD platform there was a time when VIA and SiS were pretty much the only players of consequence. Then nVidia stepped up to the plate with there nForce chipset. Things didn't go too well however as the first nForce chipset was a little late to market and no real match performance wise with the competition, despite being a good platform in its own right. But that was then and this is now.

Unlike its predecessor the nForce2 chipset has proven itself to be king of the hill when it comes to AMD performance platforms, with a very aggressive price point that has yet to be matched. Times however change, and with the introduction of the 3200+ Barton sporting a 200 FSB, a revision of this chipset was called for. Whilst the original nForce2 supports DDR400, it doesn't officially support 400 FSB and as we have come to learn, the best performance can be found when running your FSB and memory synchronously. This is where the nForce 2 Ultra 400 steps in. Providing official support for a 400 FSB, as well as providing headroom for the enthusiast crowd, this chipset promises to be the best AMD platform until Athlon64's show up on the scene. With this in mind have added to there line-up a new Flagship AMD motherboard in the guise of the , which obviously is what we shall be looking at today. Is this one for the upgrade bug to pounce on you with? Let's find out.


Supports Socket A for AMD® Athlon(tm)/Athlon(tm) XP/Duron(tm) processors @FSB 200/266/333/400
Supports 600MHz up to Athlon(tm) XP 3000+ processor or higher

nVIDIA® nForce2 Ultra 400 Chipset
Supports DDR200/266/333/400
Supports external AGP 4X/8X

nVIDIA® nForce2 MCP-T Chipset
AC97 Interface supporting up to two concurrent codecs
Ultra ATA133 for the fastest hard disk throughput
USB 2.0 EHCI/1.1 OHCI controller
FireWire® and USB 2.0 for the fastest digital connectivity
Audio Processing Unit(APU) encodes audio in Dolby® Digital 5.1 format for full surround sound effects

FSB 200/266/333/400 MHz clocks are supported

Main Memory
Supports six memory banks using three 184-pin DDR DIMMs
Supports up to 3GB PC3200/2700/2100/1600 DDR SDRAMs
Supports both 64-bit and 128-bit DDR SDRAM

One AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) 1.5V 4x/8x slot
Five 32-bit PCI bus slots (support 3.3v/5v PCI bus interface)
One ACR (Advanced Communication Riser) slot

The mainboard BIOS provides "Plug & Play" BIOS which detects the peripheral devices and expansion cards of the board automatically.
The mainboard provides a Desktop Management Interface (DMI) function which records your mainboard specifications.

On-Board IDE
An IDE controller on the MCP-T chipset provides IDE HDD/CDROM with PIO, Bus Master and Ultra DMA133/100/66 operation modes
Can connect up to four IDE devices

Serial ATA Interface
Support 2 serial ATA plus 1 ATA133
RAID O or 1 is supported
RAID function works w/ATA133+SATA H/D or 2 SATA H/D

In-Chip IEEE1394
nVIDIA MCP-T IEEE1394 controller
Support up to two ports via external bracket

Chipset integrated 10/100 Base-T Ethernet/Fast Ethernet

Realtek ALC650 6-channel audio
Dolby Digital 5.1 format

On-Board Peripherals
1 floppy port that supports two FDD with 360KB, 720KB,1.44MB and 2.88MB
1 serial port
1 parallel port supports SPP/EPP/ECP mode
3 audio ports in vertical
2 IEEE1394 connectors
6 USB ports (Rear * 4/ Front * 2)
1 RJ-45 jack

30.5 cm(L) x 23 cm(W) ATX Form Factor

The specifications are very impressive with the board hosting a broad array of features and extras. Not only does the board itself pack a lot but the whole package has a good amount to offer too, with things like the D Bracket 2, the S Bracket, and a FireWire (1394) bracket.

The box is very attractive, sporting a motorcycle and some of the logo's for the technology used such as the nForce2 and DDR 400. Inside the box, apart from the motherboard itself and its extra's we find some DVD Software, drivers, and a couple of manuals. There is one very attractive red, round IDE cable along with a floppy cable and since this is a SATA Raid motherboard, MSI have also seen fit to include 2 SATA leads and matching SATA power cable.

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