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AMD - MSI KT6 Delta-FIS2R

MSI is one of the largest motherboard and computer component manufacturers in the world, sharing the heady heights with the likes of Asus and Gigabyte.
Lately MSI has gained more popularity for its motherboards as its range of consumer features has greatly improved over the last couple of years. This is becoming more and more apparent and when you take into consideration things such as MSI’s recently introduced CoreCell technology that adds overclocking features to several of their high-end motherboards.

The KT6 Delta-FIS2R is MSI’s top of the range offering based on the VIA KT600 chipset. It’s quite amazing how much MSI has actually managed to squeeze in on this board, especially if you compare it to some of the other motherboards on test. First off the new VIA southbridge features integrated S-ATA, but MSI has gone one step further and included a Promise S-ATA/IDE RAID controller that adds a further two S-ATA ports as well as a single IDE port that can handle two drives.

MSI has also provided for three Firewire ports and they are fitted to a single rear bracket. There is also a Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet controller, although this might not be useful for some users, it is none the less a worthy addition to a high-end motherboard. The sound comes from a C-Media chipset that gives you 5.1-channel sound as well as software Dolby Digital support. A further two brackets are also supplied, which MSI refers to as the S-Bracket and the D-Bracket. The S-Bracket consists of the rear and centre/subwoofer channels for the 5.1-channel audio as well as optical and electrical S/PDIF outputs. The D-Bracket features four diagnostic LEDs as well as two USB 2.0 ports.

The rest of the content is equally impressive with a full set of S-ATA cables, a set of rounded IDE and floppy cables as well as a well written manual. The manual should be equally good for the first time user as more experienced ones and covers everything from the basic setup to the supplied software and advanced BIOS settings. It’s a shame that MSI hasn’t managed to produce a quick setup sheet like many of the other more established companies, as this makes it much easier to locate things on the motherboard.

The software bundle is quite impressive and includes a disc with Adobe Photoshop Album, Media Ring Talk, FarStone Virtual Drive and RestoreIt! as well as a copy of both InterVideo WinDVD and WinRip. As with several other manufacturers you get a windows based BIOS update utility and a windows based overclocking utility.

Features wise the KT6 Delta-FIS2R is very similar to the AOpen board, but this MSI offers better value for money in the end. MSI also fared well in the benchmarks although it wasn’t blistering fast. If you’re after a KT600 based motherboard this is a safe bet and offers excellent value for money.

Verdict

The KT6 Delta-FIS2R is the best KT600 board on test, but the nForce2 boards offer better performance. However, if you want a VIA chipset board the KT6 Delta-FIS2R makes a good case for itself.

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