- MSI 845 Ultra ARU
Times on list: New
While the P4 Fire Dragon recommended here last guide is certainly a quality board, the MSI 845 Ultra ARU featured in this comparison, (reviewed here) is an even better quality board. In fact, it managed to beat the two other boards in the test, and those boards certainly aren't slouches.
Like the Fire Dragon, the MSI is based on the i845D chipset that supports DDR RAM and an FSB of 100MHz. The MSI supports 5 PCI slots, an AGP 4x slot, a CNR slot, even though it's useless, 3 DIMM slots, 2 USB 1.1 ports, with two more supplied on a bracket, 4 USB 2.0 ports, of which all are on a bracket, a Promise ATA-133 RAID controller supporting normal ATA-133 and RAID 0 and 1, a C-Media 6 channel sound chip, which is vastly superior to the AC'97 found on many boards, active chipset cooling, a cool looking box, numerous software goodies, cables and a very thick manual.
As I said before, the performance of this board is superior to last guides recommended board, the Fire Dragon. In all but two tests the MSI board comes out on top of the opposition, so its fairly obvious the board runs very well.
The overclocking of the board is also quite impressive. There are the usual FSB controls for 1MHz increment overclocking, CPU multiplier changes in the unlikely event you have an unlocked P4, the usual memory tweaks such as CAS latency, Bank Interleaving etc, and some slightly dubious Voltage controls. While the board supports CPU, RAM and AGP voltage changing, the voltage limits are reasonably low. The maximum the Core voltage could be raised to is 1.85v if you're using a Willamette processor, and a low 1.7v for a Northwood. The RAM voltages are limited to 2.5-2.7v, which again is quite low. At least the AGP voltage controls were reasonable, going from 1.5-1.7v.
With the P4 533MHz FSB's release impending, and passed in some countries, you may want to invest in a board that supports the 133MHz FSB. However, this board was able to be overclocked from the default 100MHz to 146MHz FSB, which means the board will run the new processors without fail.
- Find the best price on MSI 845 Ultra ARU!
- EPoX 8KA3/8KA3+
Times on List: 2
This board is based on the relatively new KT333 chipset from VIA. The KT333 chipset is an evolution of the KT266A chipset, and it adds DDR 333 memory support. The market isn't as flooded as the KT266A market, but there are still quite a few boards to chose from.
The EPoX 8KA3/+ (+ signifies RAID) was chosen because of its reasonable amount of features, strong performance and good overclocking ability. The board contains 3 DIMM Sockets that support DDR 333 RAM (PC2700), an AGP 4x slot, 6 PCI slots, 2 USB ports (2 optional), support for up to 4 IDE devices including ATA-133, an ATA-133 RAID controller supporting RAID 0,1,0+1, and the usual Serial and PS/2 ports.
The performance of the board is very similar to the other KT333 boards, usually not varying by more than a few frames. Nevertheless, the KT333 boards are the fastest Socket A boards on the planet at the moment, so you can't go wrong with it or any of the other KT333 boards.
The overclocking potential of this board is the selling point. There are options to move the FSB in 1MHz increments up to 200MHz, the important PCI/AGP dividers, the usual RAM tweaks, and the usual Voltage changes, and the board is very stable when overclocked. The 8KA3's performance and overclocking ability lead to it being chosen here, but if you are after USB 2.0, the MSI KT3U will suffice, and if you want something different without legacy ports, go for the Abit AT7.
- Find the best price on EPoX motherboards!
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- Acer's new Predator Z35P: 35-inch 3440x1440 100Hz G-Sync
- Crackdown 3 coming to PC, is an Xbox Play Anywhere title
- Samsung unveils bendable/stretchable OLED display
- MSI scoops 5 awards for Computex Best Choice Award 2017
- Surface Pro continues to evolve, now packs Kaby Lake
- Alienware 15 R3 Laptop Storage Performance Investigation
- ASUS RT-AC1900p Wireless Router Review
- ASUS RT-AC1900p Wireless Router Review
- GA-Z97X-UD5H-BK with SSD M.2 Plextor M8PeG 256gb. low speed after shut down
- Prey Review: Dark Stars, Darker Thoughts
- Western Digital sets new standard with latest generation in popular HGST-brand Ultrastar SAS SSD family
- AMD raises expectations for server performance, unveils EPYC processor brand for the datacenter
- HighPoint's SSD7101 PCIe board-sized drive series integrate Samsung 960 NVMe SSDs to deliver groundbreaking performance over 12GB/s
- Micron accelerates all-flash storage speed, performance and value with new flexible petabyte-scale enterprise data center solution
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 and 630 mobile platforms drive advanced photography, enhanced gaming, integrated connectivity and machine learning