Iwill KK266Plus KT133A Motherboard Review
Physical Features and Layout
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.The actual layout of the KK266Plus is almost identical to the KK266 motherboard. The processor socket is at the very top left hand corner of the PCB and has ample room for heatsink installations including the standard clips and 4-pronged heatsinks, too. One of the few differences in the layout is the location of the ATX power connector. On the original KK266, it was on the VERY top of the board between the CPU and memory sockets. Now, Iwill chose to move it between a few capacitors and the audio output connectors. I am not sure what their reasoning was for this, but I think I liked the previous spot better as getting the ATX power cable off the board after installation requires very thin fingers or a bit of persistence.
The KT133A north bridge is in the same spot and is still turned at 45 degrees but on the test board I was sent Iwill included a very cool looking and effective active heatsink. You can tell from the picture here that this isn’t your standard cheap heatsink/fan combination. Unfortunately, Iwill decided to take this active heatsink off the shipping version of the motherboard. They are offering the ability for Iwill customers to purchase the active cooling setup for an addition $6 that includes shipping and handling in the US.
There are three standard PC100/PC133 SDRAM slot and next to that there are the IDE channel and floppy channel connectors. If you are getting the RAID version of the KK266Plus, you will see two blue connectors and two yellow below the blue.
The slot configuration is nice coming in with a 6/1/1/0 (PCI/ISA/AGP/AMR) config. The AGP port is not AGP Pro, but is 4x compatible as with all current motherboards. Having the ISA slot included probably makes Iwill one of the last manufacturers to keep including one for those users who haven’t or can’t convert to all PCI yet. But, if you have, you’ll like the fact that the KK266Plus has six available PCI slots – the current maximum on AMD motherboards.
Another change Iwill has made on the KK266Plus is the addition of the 6 (or 5.1) channel audio and SPDIF connections. While the header pins were there on the original KK266 motherboard, they did not obviously become functional until now. The new audio chipset from CMI is the CMI8738 HRTF 3D Audio controller that supports 3D positional audio in six channels and also has a SPDIF dongle for the motherboard allowing optical and other additional connections. Many users may still opt for Turtle Beach or Hercules audio cards but it is obvious that on-board audio is becoming much more competent and competing for users’ use. Obviously, high-end pro-sumers will probably not use it, but for regular gamers and/or music listeners, the CMI sound is excellent.
The KK266Plus’ use of SDRAM instead of DDR DRAM is a drawback that we must keep in consideration, but I will touch on that more in the conclusion of the review. Now, onto overclocking and raid information!