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HCW Tech Blog

For the latest info on computer hardware, tech, news, video games, software tips, and Linux, check out our new improved front page: HCW Tech Blog

Reviewed by: Ken O'Reilly [03.30.01]
Manufactured by: MSI

 

The Heart: The Chipset

Rather than using the VIA(R) KT133 chipset / VT82C686A like the Pro2, the Pro2-A was designed with the VIA(R) KT133 chipset / VT82C686B. The main difference between these two versions of chipsets by VIA is that the 'B' revision implements the ATA/100 standard. You also still get the AGP x4, and of course if you find the need to use it, the integrated audio.

Features

This is what shows you how good or bad a board is; with out further adieu I give you the features... I'll only list the significant features, for the rest, you should visit the official product page at MSI.  HCW is not about filling dozens of pages with redundant tech specs!

  • Supports AMD Socket A Duron and Athlon 500Mhz ~ 1.2Ghz
  • Up to 1.5GB of memory PC100/133
  • 6 PCI slots, 1 AGP 4x Slot, 1 AMR slot
  • UltraDMA/100 IDE support
  • ATX Form Factor
  • PC Health Monitoring
  • Selectable Voltages and Multipliers via the BIOS
  • Diagnostic LEDs
  • Fuzzy Logic 3
  • Live BIOS

Live BIOS

One thing MSI is particularly proud of is their LIVE BIOS feature.  This makes BIOS flashing easier than ever before! Gone are the days of booting to DOS off a floppy, and running long strings of commands, and resetting the BIOS to the features you want...

I won't go into how this works only to say that it works and it is surely a lot better than going into DOS if you have rarely ventured into the DOS realm. I however like DOS and I trust it a little more than I do windows. If this is the case with you, then you'll be happy to know that MSI gives you either option when "flashing" your BIOS.

Is It Any Good?

Oh man you better believe that it's good. Although there are some large capacitors near the CPU socket, you will have no problems installing any of the high performance HSF on the market. IF you cannot tell by the picture I have a FOP-38 installed and there is still more than enough room around the CPU socket.

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