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Two new SDRAM/DDR combo mobos from MSI

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February 8, 2003 11:05:04 PM

MSI has launched two new SDRAM/DDR combo mobos for Socket A platform.

<A HREF="http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pr..." target="_new"> MSI KT2 Combo </A> VIA KT266A based

<A HREF="http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pr..." target="_new"> MSI KM2M-L </A> VIA KM266 based

I hope they will not suck like ECS K7S5A or many other SDRAM/DDR combo mobos.

<b> "You can put lipstick on a pig, but hey, it's still a pig!" - RobD </b>
February 9, 2003 12:41:42 AM

What???? It's on the Kt266a chipset?!?! Blargh! They shoulda at least used the kt333ce chipset. As for micro Atx boards, when are we going to see some Nforce2 IGP action???

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
February 9, 2003 1:17:15 AM

VIA has stopped manufacturing KT333 chipset since KT400 launch. This might be the reason for not choosing KT333 chipset for their new SDRAM/DDR combo mobo.

Look at <A HREF="http://www.msi.com.tw/program/products/mainboard/mbd/pr... A" target="_new"> MSI Socket-A Mobo page </A>. KT333 mobos are vanishing from the list

Shuttle has a flex-atx nForce2-IGP mobo for mini-PC. Still haven't heard of any nForce2-IGP micro-atx board.

<b> "You can put lipstick on a pig, but hey, it's still a pig!" - RobD </b>
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February 9, 2003 1:18:40 AM

Now that was a poor decision if you ask me. SiS 735 natively supports both DDR and SDRAM.

But um, what use does anyone have for SDRAM in this day and age? ;-)

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Benchmarks don't lie :-)
February 9, 2003 1:32:48 AM

Uhm, yes, most old computers (which make up a large portion of existing computers) still use the older Pc66 and Pc100 Sdram, even as small as 16mb and 32mb chips. Not a bad idea to offer Sdr support. Just read my sig.

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
February 9, 2003 1:36:03 AM

gah, I can find kt333 motherboards easily in the US just by looking around a bit. Newegg.com even has a decent stock left. Still, the kt266a is just a bad move, it's older, doesn't "fully" support the 333Mhz fsb (although the epox and abit boards have no problem overclocking), and lacks features. Other than that, if it's super cheap, at least it beats the k7s5a

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
February 9, 2003 1:58:15 AM

SiS 735 sucks. It's slower than even AMD 760.

<b> "You can put lipstick on a pig, but hey, it's still a pig!" - RobD </b>
February 9, 2003 1:59:20 AM

You're correct, but mobo manufacturers cannot buy KT333 chipsets from VIA now. They are making KT333 mobos now with their old stock of KT333 chipsets. This way, they can't make KT333 mobos for a long time.

<b> "You can put lipstick on a pig, but hey, it's still a pig!" - RobD </b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Spitfire_x86 on 02/08/03 11:03 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 9, 2003 2:08:33 AM

Well, they might as well use the stock of the Kt400 then, at least it would have more support for stuff than the kt266a

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
February 9, 2003 2:09:35 AM

What? Not from what i've seen, i've benched my 1Ghz athlon box on an FIC Ad11 versus my friends working K7s5a system, and his owns the AMD 760 chipset by far

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
February 9, 2003 2:43:01 AM

<b>Spitfire_x86</b> Now is that so? Maybe you should have a look <A HREF="http://www.tomshardware.com/mainboard/20010611/index.ht..." target="_new">here</A> before making such inaccurate statements.

Not only did the SiS 735 outpeform the AMD 760, but it also beat ALi's current chipset at the time, and VIA's 266 (until, of course, VIA decided to steal SiS' memory interface with the introduction of the "266A"), and, it cost less.

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Benchmarks don't lie :-)
February 9, 2003 3:15:08 AM

Err, well, it sorta looks like this in descending order

Kt266a
Sis 735
Ali M1647
AMD 760
Kt266

not including all the modern chipsets that is

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
February 9, 2003 6:01:50 AM

Sorry, I was wrong. In mid-2001, I was not a THG reader. I told that from the benchmarks of a mag. Their SiS 735 performed pretty bad, AMD 760 beat that most times including Q3 Arena benchmark.

<b> "You can put lipstick on a pig, but hey, it's still a pig!" - RobD </b>
February 9, 2003 6:02:14 AM

KT400 definately costs more than KT266A. Since This type of mobos are targeted to price conscious buyers, KT266A is OK.

BTW, is "Ali M1647" = Ali Magik 1 or something newer than it?

<b> "You can put lipstick on a pig, but hey, it's still a pig!" - RobD </b>
February 9, 2003 7:12:35 AM

SiS chipsets actually are usually not the best for gaming, but they offer way better performance for what are normally southbridge components (like harddrive performance, their USB 1.1 compared to other chipsets, things that would go PCI like sound cards).

This is kind of because, they are like the only company, period, that has ever done the single chip solution (one chip with all of the controller interfaces, rather than a southbridge linked to a northbirdge by a HUB). Also, before they got their act together, they used to be really big on integrated video.

So while they video card, or in this day and age, AGP bus performance might not be the best, they have better performance other parts.

BTW Spitfire, I didn't mean to insult you or anything.

The problem really is, SiS doesn't have a very big market share in the united states, and I believe that goes from europe as well. But I think over in Asia, that's a whole nother story, I think they sell better over there, maybe even then VIA and or Intel.

I heard in the past (like 10 years ago), when they weren't doing so well, alot of vendors didn't want to carry their chipsets.

Actually, the reason I think SDRAM should stay around is if anyone still wants to go the route of getting a Slot 370 board with a 1.4 gig Tualatin. "The SDR alternative to today's modern systems" Really an 815 chipset maxed out like that, wouldn't be so bad.

It is true though that alot of schools and stuff, have cheaper computers that would only accept SDR. However, I think production should be halted on the PC66 and 100 standards, and only keep PC133. You can use 133 RAM with boards that even only have a 66MHz bus, but it will only run a 66MHz speed. The reason this might be a good move would be, there's really very little price difference between PC133 and PC66 RAM, I belive if you check crucial.com

Also, only 32MB DIMMs and up. No 16, 24, etc... Unless they are using something from the 486 generation, each DIMM slot should be able to hold 32 meg sticks.

Just in an effort to weed out old technology that truly doesn't have any use in this day and age anymore. Same thing with 650MB CDs. Only 700MB ones should be produced. Some things should really be done away with permenantly IMO, if they serve no purpose at all.

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Benchmarks don't lie :-)
February 9, 2003 4:41:47 PM

I know it costs more, but you can still make motherboards cheap with tthe kt400 chipset, just look at the ECS L7VTA, it's only about $70, and has raid, lan, 5.1sound, firewire, all the integrated features of the kt400.

Yes, the Ali M1647 is just the technical term for the Ali Magik 1

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
February 9, 2003 4:44:27 PM

no, if you're going fully backwards compatible with Sdram, you might as well include support for most of the sizes (not sure about the chip arrangement on the PCB though, you might want to ask Crashman bout that). That's all the way down to 8mb chips I think at the smallest, to 16mb, 32mb, and 64mb Sdram chips. I've seen them in older Pentium 3 systems, and in newer mobos with 3 slots, you can get a pretty decent amount (64mb-128mb, good enough for Windows 98se) for a budget box.

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
February 10, 2003 12:46:41 AM

IIRC, KT333/KT400 doesn't support SDRAM. I may be wrong.

Off topic question, does ALi have plan to return in the desktop chipset competeition? Does their mobile chipsets sell well?

<b> "You can put lipstick on a pig, but hey, it's still a pig!" - RobD </b>
February 10, 2003 2:08:19 AM

Neither the KT 333 or 400 support SDRAM

ALi is actually Acer bought over, just under a different name "Acer Laboratories Inc." incorporated

I have heard alot of bad things about Acer. I think they made their own entire computers during the mid 90's, and I don't think these were known for doing so well. I have heard they make alot of cheap products.

It is funny because companies like Dell, TigerDirect, etc.... All of these brand name manufacturers may use boards by Acer in their PCs. They never advertise what motherboards they use, they just throw in your face that their system uses the newest and fastest processor, and intentionally do not mention how much RAM they include, the integrated video, 5400 RPM Samsung harddrives, etc.... among other many weak points making these systems totally unsuitable for gamers, reliability, or any serious and heavy tasks.

Of course the general public (i.e., those who don't come to Tom's ;-) have no technical knowledge, the only words they recognize and care about are "Intel Pentium, the latest and greatest"

Anyhow, getting back to the point, you can go <A HREF="http://www.ali.com.tw/" target="_new">here</A> to check out Acer's website.

I didn't know ATI made motherboard chipsets. I thought they just made video cards. Apparently they have some IGP chipsets.

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Benchmarks don't lie :-)
February 10, 2003 2:19:22 AM

Nah, from what I read, Ali has pretty much pulled out altogether in the chipset market. I'm pretty sure the kt333 has Sdr support, I forget which board it is, but I know i've seen at least one that has the dually setup.

Instead of Rdram, why not just merge 4 Sdram channels...
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