MSI KT3 Ultra2-BR - Page 7

..:: System BIOS ::..

The MSI KT3 Ultra2 line of motherboards comes along with a pretty nice AMI BIOS. Much like what we experienced with our other AMD based motherboards, the KT3 Ultra2’s BIOS brings with it a very nice amount of tweaking and overclocking options. When you enter the BIOS, you’ll come across all of those usual options such as Standard CMOS Features, Advanced BIOS Features, Advanced Chipset Features, Integrated Peripherals, Power Management Setup, PnP/PCI Configurations, PC Health Status, Frequency / Voltage Control, and all of the Default Settings, etc. We are primarily interested in the Advanced Chipset Features, Integrated Peripherals, PC Health Status, and Frequency / Voltage Control windows, and will be covering these specific areas.

The Advanced Chipset Features window is home to the AGP and DDR settings. Within this window you have the ability to select the options for both the RAM, and the AGP. If we enter the DRAM Timing Control window, we see that we can adjust the CAS Latency, Row Precharge, Pulse Width, RAS to CAS Delay, Bank Interleave, Burst Length, Command Rate, and Fast Command. The settings above are those that I used to test out the motherboard with, however I instead used a Burst length of 8 QW instead of 4 QW. The available settings for the “Fast Command” are Normal, Fast, and Ultra. These different settings control how aggressive the memory settings are. Within the AGP window, we have the ability to adjust the AGP Mode, Driving Control, Aperture Size, and Fast Writes among other features.

The Integrated Peripherals window should be self explanatory for what it is responsible for. Within this window, you have the ability to enable or disable several of the motherboards built in devices, such as the parallel port, serial ports, AC ’97 audio, modem audio, ATA/133 RAID, floppy controller, midi port, game port, USB controller etc. If you’re looking to free up an IRQ or two to give to a PCI slot or similar device, this is the place to do it. I myself usually disable the floppy controller and serial ports as I have no use for them. But that is just my personal preference. You can also change the IRQ’s and I/O Addresses for a few of the devices in this window.

Here’s yet another window that should be self explanatory simply because of its name, PC Health Status. Within this window, we can take a look at the system voltages, fan speeds, and temperatures. This window is also home to the Chassis Intrusion option, and the CPU Fan Detection option. Chassis Intrusion, when enabled, will notify you when someone has unexpectedly been toying around with your system and has opened the case. The CPU Fan Detection should be self explanatory. If you don’t plug the CPU fan into the proper header, you’ll just have to put up with an awful beeping until you select to disable it.

The last window of interest we’ll be discussing today is the Frequency / Voltage Control window. Here, the user can adjust the system’s FSB speed in increments of 1Mhz. All you need to do is hit enter, type in the FSB speed you’d like, then hit enter again and restart. Below this we see the option to adjust the clock multiplier. Below that, we come across the voltage selections. The VCore can be adjusted all the way to 1.85v in .025v increments. The DDR voltage can be set to 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, or 2.8v respectively. The KT3 Ultra2 is clearly meant for the performance crowd and tweakers looking to get every last ounce of performance out of their system.