Review Index:

MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU KT333 Motherboard Review

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Motherboards
Manufacturer: MSI

Overclocking and System Setup

This content was originally featured on and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

Overclocking on the MSI KT3 Ultra motherboard was about as easy as you can get it on the AMD platform. All of the options were include in the bios:

  • FSB options of 100 – 220 MHz in 1 MHz increments
  • Multiplier options of 6.0x – 15.0x
  • Vcore voltages of 1.725v – 1.85v in 0.025v increments
  • AGP voltages of 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8v
  • DIMM voltages of 2.6, 2.7 and 2.8v

Of course, because we are on the KT333 chipset there is the option to have the memory bus work at 33 MHz faster than the processor bus in an asynchronous format. This wasn’t a full proof plan though.

While running in 133 MHz FSB and 166 MHz memory bus, I was never able to get a stable system running when pushing the memory to the CAS 2 setting. I tried Crucial and Corsair memory, both rated up to at least PC2700 with no success. Shaving the latency back down to 2.5 solved all the problems but cuts down on performance. Right now, it appears the problem lies with the chipset of the board not the memory. Because of this draw back, the DDR333 mode at CAS 2.5 isn’t that much faster than the DDR266 mode at CAS 2.

The memory I used was both from Crucial and Corsair. I am sure you are all familiar with the Corsair XMS2700 memory:

But this Crucial PC2700 DDR memory is still new (hence the engineering sample I received). This is set to be released on very soon.

For the system setup on these tests, I used the Athlon XP 2000+ processor instead of the latest from AMD, the 2100+. The reasoning for this was purely for time purposes: I had test numbers from the previous motherboard using the 2000+ processor and rather than change the test bed and redo everything, I decided to stick with the 2000+ for a bit more. A big change in the test bed will be coming soon though! ;)

Test System Setup


1 x 1.67 GHz AMD Athlon XP 2000+ Processor




MSI K7N420-D Pro


2 x 256MB Corsair Micro PC2700 DDR DRAM

2 x 256MB Crucial PC2700 DDR DRAM

Hard Drive

20.5GB 7200 RPM IBM EIDE

Video Card

GeForce 3

Video Drivers

Detonator 22.40

Operating System

Windows XP


Quake III: Arena

3DMark 2001


Wolfenstein MP

SiSoft Sandra Memory Bench

SiSoft Sandra CPU Bench

Content Creation Winstone 2001

Content Creation Winstone 2002

Business Winstone 2001

4 different SPEC view perf tests



Sysmark 2001

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