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Written By:
Date Posted:
June 3, 2002

When VIA announced their KT333, it was no surprise that would be one of the first to release a mainboard based on this chipset. Well known for manufacturing solid boards, my personal experiences have always been positive. In the KT266A battles, MSI had one of the best all round motherboards. The K7T266 Pro2-RU wasn't the fastest, but it wasn't the slowest either. It was loaded with features however, and was one of the most stable motherboards on the market. It also helped, that given it's feature set, it was very well priced, when compared to the competition.

With the , MSI hopes to continue the tradition of offering quality motherboards. Early indications look good, as everything one would want in a modern Athlon motherboard is present. The KT333? Checked. ATA133 support? Checked. RAID? Checked. USB 2.0? Checked. Good software bundle? Checked. No on-board audio? Well, it's here, but it isn't as bad as one would expect, as it has 6-channel support. We'll take a look at all of these features, once we dispence with the obligatory "ripped-from-the-website" specifications...


CPU: Support Socket A (Socket 462) for AMD® Athlon" / Athlon XP / Duron" processor, 600MHz up to 2000+ MHz processor and higher

Chipset: VIA® KT333 (552 BGA) Chipset, FSB @200/266MHz

VIA® VT8233A (376 BGA) Chipset:
- High Bandwidth V-link Client controller
- Integrated Faster Ethernet LPC
- Integrated Hardware Sound Blaster/Direct Sound AC97 audio
- Ultra DMA 66/100/133 master mode PCI EIDE controller

FSB: 100/133 (200/266)MHz clocks are supported

Main Memory:
-Support six memory banks using three 184-pin DDR DIMMs
-Support a maximum memory size up to 3GB
-Support 2.5v DDR 200/266/333 DDR SDRAM DIMM

One AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) slot (AGP specification compliant), support AGP 2.0 4x
One CNR (Communication Network Riser) slot
Five 32-bit Master PCI Bus slots, supports 3.3V/5V PCI bus Interface

On-Board IDE:
An IDE controller on the VIA® VT8233A chipset provides IDE HDD/CD-ROM with PIO, Bus Master and Ultra DMA 66/100/133 operation modes, can connect up to 4 IDE devices

Audio: Integrated Realtek® ALC650 Chipset (6-channel S/W audio)
- Direct Sound AC97 Audio
- 6-channel analog output
- Digital SPDIF interface
- Compatible w/ S-bracket

On-Board Peripherals:
- 1 floppy port supports 2 FDD with 360K, 720K, 1.2M, 1.44M and 2.88Mbytes
- 2 serial ports (COMA + COMB)
- 1 parallel port supporting SPP/EPP/ECP mode
- 1 IrDA connector for SIR/ASKIR/HPSIR
- 1 Audio/Game port
- 1 D-Bracket pinheader
- 1 S-Bracket pinheader

- 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.

Dimension: 30.4 cm(L) x 23.5 cm(W) ATX Form Factor, 6 mounting holes.

Special Functions: ATA133 RAID Function, USB Interface
Promise 20276 On-Board
- Support ATA133 IDE RAID 0 or 1
- Can connect up to 4 IDE devices
- Backward compatible to ATA100 RAID 0 or 1

USB 2.0 HC On Board
- Support 4 USB 2.0 ports via external bracket
Controlled by VT8233A Southbirdge
- 4 USB 1.1 Ports

The Bundle

Fuzzy Logic3"
Live BIOS"
Live Driver"
MSI" DVD 5.1ch

Well, credit to MSI for making a good first impression. I'd never would have thought that a box would impress me, but this one is really nice. Erm, ok, so enough about the box, and let's get to the real stuff.

Click to enlarge

Next Page - The KT333


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