MSI have always had a good reputation for stability and quality, and this is evident once again in the KT3 Ultra ARU. During our testing, this board never froze on us, unless we pushed the overclocking too hard. Overclocking of the board was a painless affair, while there wasn't as many options as most other boards have, the ones that were present satisfied our needs and allowed for a pleasant overclocking experience.
Features wise, MSI has come up with the goods again - USB 2.0 controller worked like a charm, onboard sound was perfect and RAID was not a problem in the world. We tested the board with onboard peripherals enabled and disabled to see if there was a big performance gap between the two for interest sakes - You loose close to 3% system speed when all are enabled, but this is more than acceptable, considering AC'97 audio drains the system resources by 13% itself.
Layout wise, I would have preferred to see a 6th PCI slot or a ACR slot over the CNR. CNR is an aging standard that we have only seen cards made for but not actually put into practical use on the retail market. In fact I haven't seen AMR, CNR or ACR cards used in any OEM systems, so this really wastes some space in my opinion.
In all, the board was a very delightful board to toy around with and defiantly gets a seal of approval from us.
-Overclocking in reasonable
-CNR slot instead of 6th PCI
-Overclocking options could be a bit more in-depth
-Use of AMI BIOS over Award.
9 out of 10
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