The Test

In recent times, choosing a motherboard cannot be completely determined by a Winstone score. Now, many boards come within one Winstone point of each other and therefore the need to benchmark boards against each other falls. Therefore you should not base your decision entirely on the benchmarks you see here, but also on the technical features and advantages of this particular board, seeing as that will probably make the greatest difference in your overall experience.

Click Here to learn about AnandTech's Motherboard Testing Methodology.

Test Configuration

Processor(s):
AMD Athlon (Thunderbird) 800MHz
RAM:
1 x 128MB Mushkin PC133 SDRAM
Hard Drive(s):
Western Digital 153BA Ultra ATA 66 7200 RPM
Bus Master Drivers:
VIA 4-in-1 v4.24 Service Pack
Video Card(s):
NVIDIA GeForce 2 GTS 32MB DDR
Video Drivers:
NVIDIA Detonator 5.22
Operation System(s):
Windows 98 SE
Motherboard Revision:
Microstar K7T Master Revision 1.0

 

Windows 98 Performance

 
Sysmark 2000
Content Creation
Winstone 2000
Quake III Arena - 640 x 480 x 16
Microstar K7T Master - Athlon 800 (KT133)
161
32.7
123.7
Soyo SY-K7VTA - Athlon 800 (KT133)
160
27.5
127.0

Note: The original K7T Master motherboard we received from Microstar was still in the beta phase, and was using BIOS revision V6347SP version 1.0B2 (7/3/2000). We encountered some problems with this BIOS. For starters, Quake III Arena refused to run, and it crashed right at the splash screen. Secondly the motherboard was very unstable and crashed consistenly under the Photoshop test in Content Creation Winstone 2000. Microstar provided us with an updated BIOS, revision V6347MS version 1.1 (9/8/2000) which solved all of the problems we encountered. Quake III Arena runs smoothly and the motherboard is very stable now. We also ran all the tests again after flashing the BIOS in order to get the most accurate scores.

Final Words

Microstar does not disappoint us with their K7T Master.  AMD has proven that their processors are ready for server/workstation market, and Microstar has finally provided us with the appropriate platform. 

To make the motherboard ready for server and workstation use, Microstar puts an Ultra160 SCSI controller, IEEE 1394 Firewire controller, ATA-100 support, and IDE RAID controller all onto a single board.  These are some of the components high end users look for and these are the very features that have been denied to AMD users for so long.  The K7T Master provides the same high level of stability that we're used to, and there is no doubt this is a very impressive motherboard for the server and workstation market.

It's about time that a motherboard manufacturer took the Socket-A platform seriously and we'll shortly begin seeing even more Socket-A boards targeted at this market, especially with the forthcoming release of the AMD 760MP chipset, the first dual processor chipset for the Athlon.

The Bad How it Rates

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