MSI KT3 Ultra2-BR - Page 4

..:: Layout: Socket Area ::..

As is the norm with our motherboard reviews here at MBReview, we’ll now take a good look at the design of the KT3 Ultra2, starting off with the socket area, and moving around the board in a counter-clockwise direction. The processor socket is placed along the top edge of the board oriented north to south lengthwise. There is a good amount of room around the processor socket which should allow safe mounting and use of the larger heatsink units. There is a small group of 2200uF capacitors below the socket; however they shouldn’t interfere with clipping on the heatsink.

If we take a look towards the bottom edge of the processor socket, we’ll notice that MSI has included a small strip of tape below the center mounting lug. I would prefer to see this protective tape placed underneath all three of the mounting lugs for added protection against cutting traces on the motherboard surface when you go to mount your heatsink unit. We have seen most motherboards include this protective tape on both sides of the socket; however this is not the case with the KT3 Ultra2 design. There is no protective tape placed under the mounting lugs on the top side of the socket, but there are no traces near the center lug so there is no problem with MSI choosing to do this.

The area between the rear I/O ports and the processor socket house the general majority of the motherboards electrical components. This area is also home to the 12v ATX power connector. The connector is placed along the top edge of the board and is in a fairly good position. I’d prefer to see it placed in a similar position, only on the other half of the board. Although in most cases this positioning will not block airflow over the processor, in smaller cases it is still possible. The power connector is surrounded by capacitors with a single 1000uF capacitor on the left, and three 2200uF capacitors on the right. As we move down, we’ll next come across the two-phase power solution. Although this solution is still capable of supplying power to the processor, I’d prefer to see them use a three-phase solution to help feed power to the processor. It seems MSI may indeed switch to a three-phase solution soon as there are solder points on the board that would allow for it.