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VIA KT266A Initial Roundup - October 2001

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Anonymous
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October 24, 2001 3:07:44 PM

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.html?i=1547" target="_new">Boards with ViaKt266a</A>
The contenders are: the EPoX 8KHA+, MSI K7T266 Pro2, and the Shuttle AK31 Revision 3.1. All of the boards are based on VIA's KT266A chipset and feature the same VIA 8233 South Bridge.
October 24, 2001 3:20:40 PM

Good link, but are you looking for opinions on what to buy, or just letting us know about the review? I'm confused :) 

<font color=green>I post so you don't have to!
9/11 - RIP</font color=green>
October 24, 2001 3:24:35 PM

the MSI K7T266 Pro2 is really good, u got the-
MSI K7T266 Pro2-RU which comes with 4xUSB2.0 and o/b raid IDE supporting 0,1,0+1.
i just love it, i would buy it if they would ship some to israel..

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Anonymous
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October 24, 2001 3:46:34 PM

Yes sorry...I'm looking for comments, opinions. Anyone got first hand experiance with any of these boards?

The EPoX 8KHA+ looks sweet performed best and seems to be stable as well!
Anonymous
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October 24, 2001 3:52:45 PM

Sounds good! What about the EPoX 8KHA+ it performed best...
October 24, 2001 4:02:21 PM

I reciently purchased a Gigabyte GA-7VTX-P based on the KT266A chipset and have been quite happy with it. Onboard Creative Labs card, lots of ports for USB connections, good manual, and seems to be running quite stable.

Plus, for you overclockers, there's an overclocking utility that lets you set your overclocking inside windowsa and simply reboot.

It's been stable so far. I'm waiting for my new video card to come to start tweeking the video performance output. But untweeked, the memory access times perform quite well in benchmarks, and I still got a 10-15% increase in video performace. Of course, that's what You'd expect as well going from an Athlon 750 to an Athlon XP 1600+

60 FPS, 70 FPS, 80 FPS Crash!
Daylight comes and I have to go to work :frown:
October 24, 2001 4:26:53 PM

Where did you find it? I didn't think Gigabyte's board was out yet. Too bad it has a CL card onboard, I might buy it otherwise ;(

<font color=green>I post so you don't have to!
9/11 - RIP</font color=green>
October 24, 2001 6:14:26 PM

lol that is the only KT266a card i could find here:p 
i would buy it too if it had all the MSI fetures..

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October 24, 2001 7:47:05 PM

Found it all over PriceWatch. It must've just now exploded onto the market, I guess.

<font color=green>I post so you don't have to!
9/11 - RIP</font color=green>
Anonymous
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October 24, 2001 7:49:00 PM

Intresting i will look into it. How much did it cost and where did you buy it, also do you have a review link?
Anonymous
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October 24, 2001 7:50:22 PM

As for now, it stands between MSI and the EPoX 8KHA+ for me. Epox got six PCI slotsI but with only one two-port USB header leaving two of the 6 USB ports that the chipset supports unused.

I need only two USB ports so that will be alright :) 

As for MSI's USB2, it's nice but i don't actually use USB so much and also the board is more expensive then Epox's board (albeit 15-30$) Furthermore USB 2.0 support will be integrated into SouthBridge later on. What appeals to me is this 8KHA+ simpler Bios setup compared to MSI's.

Anyway the plus for MSI is the USB2 and also the raid controller inbuilt. Minus is the Bios apparently. "Although the K7T266 Pro2-RU had no problems with the GeForce3 Ti 500, we ended up having more usability complaints about this board than the EPoX. The complaints all stemmed from MSI's decision to use an AMI BIOS setup with the board. The setup has no pop up menus for quickly selecting from a large list of options. For example, when picking a clock multiplier or FSB frequency you have to scroll through all of the values before getting to the one you want. In contrast, the newer Award BIOSes you can hit the enter key to bring up a popup displaying all of the possible options, sometimes allowing you to input a value manually. The BIOS also lacks the option of disabling Halt on Keyboard errors which was a problem for us since the BIOS kept on reporting a "Keyboard Connected Incorrectly" error most likely because of our KVM switch box. An interesting point to note is that there was a multiprocessor version option in the BIOS which indicates that MSI hasn't really custom tailored this BIOS for the K7T266 Pro2-RU."

I'm leaning towards building a 8KHA+ based system :) 
October 24, 2001 10:40:49 PM

FatBurger:i live in israel cant get it here as they are not shipped here yet.

as to xpman:
-you dont have a KVM device do u?
-and the RAID is much faster then a conventional IDE port.
-MSI said they will release a BIOS update later next month which will be easy to do coz they have "LiveBIOS" program, you can update and flash your bios via the internet!
i relly like it,plus if u get MSI graphic card u can flash its bios or update drivers via the internet as well.
-MSI performance is just great, check the links from-
http://www.msi.com.tw

o and u get 8 USB ports 4USB(2.0)ports+4USB(1.1)ports, cant beat that!:) 

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Anonymous
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October 24, 2001 11:44:37 PM

No, but that dosent explain all other usability complaints "The complaints all stemmed from MSI's decision to use an AMI BIOS setup with the board."
"The BIOS also lacks the option of disabling Halt on Keyboard errors"
But the 'less good Bios' of MSI K7T266 Pro2 is not the only reason for my leaning towards 8KHA+.

This is the main reason for going 8KHA+ "The board is very high performing and was the only one out of the three to actually match the performance of the KT266A reference board we looked at almost two months ago. The performance comes at no loss to any features as the board has six PCI slots and three DIMM slots. You won't find any CNR slots on this board which is a welcome change from the unusable CNR slots we've become accustomed to seeing on motherboards.

The 8KHA+ has a very well laid out Award BIOS setup in which all multiplier and FSB controls can be adjusted. Like the other two boards, the 8KHA+ can not only adjust the voltage supplied to the CPU but also the voltage supplied to the memory banks which can be useful in overclocking your memory well beyond their rated spec. The default setting for the 'VDIMM' voltage is already boosted by 4% from the factory, for all of our tests we ran it at the rated 2.5V setting instead of the boosted 2.6V default to be fair. We noticed no decrease in stability because of it."

Secondly software Raid is not so bad either.

"o and u get 8 USB ports 4USB(2.0)ports+4USB(1.1)ports, cant beat that!:) "

Agree, thats a strong reason to go Pro2-RU if you are into USB stuff.

BTW is there anyone who knowes how much better data performance is on hardware raid compared to software (also without any raid at all) on the fastest IDE harddrive?
October 25, 2001 1:01:42 AM

it boosts performance
2HDs -RAID 0(2 channels)20%
3HDs -RAID 0(3 channels)50%+
(the MSI has only 2 channels btw)

thats what i remember anyway.

look the thing is, its very easy to switch to award bios by flashing it, you can get the "know how" from MSI's site and i can help ya.

about performance, i seen other sites that rate the MSI as No1, you can see the full list at their site, they got all the award BS ligned up.

if you made up your mind then go ahead and buy, no reson for me to keep grinding water here.

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October 25, 2001 3:08:51 AM

what a load of hog wash! i talked to a guy last thursday from gigabyte, he told me that the vtxH wouldn't be out at retailers for another 2-3 weeks. so i got the vtxP and i look on pricwatch last nite, what do ya know, 4 places have it. though it's weird cause i haven't seen any reviews on the thing yet. and on a side note, i ordered the vtxP from UnitedMicro last friday (they are in ohio, i'm in michigan about 5 hours away from them). now apparently its going to take just about a week for me to get it, unreal. i would advise anyone to stay clear of them.
October 25, 2001 12:07:35 PM

I got it at www.unitedmicro.com.

It came with a AMD Athlon XP 1600+, Volvano 6 Cu Heatsink, and 256 MB of DDR ram for $308 plus $13 shipping. The MB itself runs for about $115.

ED.

The product link is http://www.giga-byte.com/products/7vtx_p.htm.

The other feature it has which I found intriging was the Dual Bios Feature. You litteraly have a backup bios and chip on the board. So, if one gets fried for any reason, it's not an issue. And, if one is accidently corupted, you can restore from the second one.

I found that a nice feature.

60 FPS, 70 FPS, 80 FPS Crash!
Daylight comes and I have to go to work :frown: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by bront on 10/25/01 07:14 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 25, 2001 12:20:39 PM

I had ordered my 7VTX-P last monday and got it this monday.

Sometimes things are let out early by distributers wishing to get a jump on a cool product.

Take Windows XP, which technicaly was released today to the public. Most people could have bought it online several weeks ago, or got it in a preloaded comp.

60 FPS, 70 FPS, 80 FPS Crash!
Daylight comes and I have to go to work :frown:
October 26, 2001 12:49:26 AM

haha, i ordered my vtxP from united last friday and will get it this friday, what a crock!! (i'm only 5 hours away from them, LOL) :frown:
!