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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.28.00]
Manufactured by: MSI


Does AMD Hate Overclockers?

One thing AMD and VIA like to toot their horns about is the 200Mhz FSB.  Wow.  All this does for us is severely limit our normal means of overclocking: adjusting the Frontside bus.  The fastest I could get my (unlocked, not that it matters in this case) Duron 600 was a sad 642 Mhz.  Compare that to my P3 550 which does 825 if you're nice to it...

Those of us lucky enough to have an unlocked Duron (or daring enough to modify theirs with the use of a pencil) are still held back by the K7T Pro's inability to allow bus multiplier setting (something sorely missed on all Intel motherboards, but at least we can get the FSB somewhere!).  MSI assured me that their engineers were indeed looking into a solution for this, but as of now, the only way you are going to overclock your Duron or Thunderbird is by raising the fronside bus by 5-10 Mhz.  Ouch.  With a bus multiplier setting, we could probably get our Duron 600 up to 800, or possibly even 900! I'll let you know how that goes when we get another board to test it with...

Like I said though, this was the ONLY real problem I had with the K7T Pro.  In ALL other aspects, the board performed superbly, and I give it my highest recommendations to anyone who doesn't care about overclocking.  With that said, and my overclocking rant finished, we can get right into the benchmarks...

ATA/66 is OK

Have your doubts about ATA/66? Or even Via's ability to built a chipset with integrated ATA/66? Check this out:

Is that fast enough for ya? I thought so.  Keep in mind though, you will still NEED to install the Via 4 in 1 drivers to get ANY sort of performance (especially AGP).  Get the latest ones right here. Also, make sure DMA is turned on.  The drive used in this benchmark is a freshly defragged 10 gig 5200 RPM Fujitsu hard drive (we needed a test drive :P).  It is the only drive on the Primary IDE Channel (pretty important; if you put a slower drive on the same channel, it will default at the slowest speed possible).

Remember, on shipping boards, you will get a nice ATA/100 card to get the absolute most out of your hard drive (if you indeed have a brand new hard drive with ATA/100 support).  This is a big plus, because we have the option of 66 or 100, depending on our hard drive capabilities!

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