Overclocking and System Setup

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com 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:

MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU KT333 Motherboard Review - Motherboards 33

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

MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU KT333 Motherboard Review - Motherboards 34

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
CPU 1 x 1.67 GHz AMD Athlon XP 2000+ Processor
Motherboards MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU
MSI K7N420-D Pro
Memory 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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