Product Info | User Reviews | Article Images(13) | Image Gallery | Comments | Forum Thread
First off, the KT4 Ultra-FISR is loaded with features. You name it chances are the KT4 Ultra-FISR has got it. If you don’t want to take our word for it, the fact that the KT4 Ultra-FISR comes with four separate manuals should be a pretty good indication. When we opened the box to see all the brackets and cables we knew we were in for something special.
The upper half of the KT4 Ultra motherboard
One of the first notable features you’ll find on the KT4 Ultra-FISR is its 5.1 channel audio onboard. The C-Media 8738 chip provides this capability. This chip supports up to 256 2D voices in hardware, or up to 64 hardware voices in 3D. We’ve found that the audio quality is also quite good and the performance is within a few percentage points of Creative’s Sound Blaster Live! in games.
MSI includes an external bracket (the S-Bracket), which offers optical fiber and coaxial S/PDIF outputs as well as two additional line-out connectors.
Although the KT400 chipset doesn’t natively support it, the KT4 Ultra-FISR supports Serial ATA storage technology via the Promise PDC20376 controller. The 20376 chip is used on quite a few motherboards actually, which shouldn’t be surprising considering Promise’s solid reputation for quality and the chips’ feature set, Ultra/ATA modes of 66/100/133 are supported as are Serial ATA data rates of up to 150MB/sec.
The controller supports up to two Serial ATA hard drives (one per connector), or one traditional Parallel ATA hard drive. If you want to setup a RAID array, you can configure two Serial ATA hard drives, or one Serial ATA hard drive and one Parallel ATA hard drive. By adding the Serial ATA controller, MSI has built the KT4 Ultra-FISR for the future. Once Serial ATA hard drives hit the market end users can simply plug in one of these devices and go. There will be no need for external controllers or adapters.
Gigabit LAN controller (top) and 5.1 audio chip on bottom
Thanks to the Broadcom 5702 network controller, the KT4 Ultra-FISR supports data transfer rates of up to 1000Mbps, morphing this motherboard into a powerful networking solution. We know what you’re probably thinking, “Do I really need a Gigabit network controller”? With the lack of Gigabit devices out there, the answer today is probably no (unless you purchase two KT4 Ultras that is) but once the devices get out there and multimedia enthusiasts get their hands on them, we’ll sure this will change. The Broadcom controller is backward compatible with traditional 10/100MBps Ethernet as well.
The KT4 Ultra-FISR also supports IEEE-1394 (Firewire) for connecting devices such as camcorders. And MSI includes software utilities such as Fuzzy Logic 4 (Windows-based utility for adjusting overclocking parameters such as the system bus), PC Alert 4 (essentially a hardware monitoring utility), Live Update 2 for upgrading your BIOS within a Windows environment and MSI’s own 5.1 channel DVD software.