I’m going to be updating this as need be, but this is what we know now.
- If you move the component from R127 to R126, you get a memory performance increase, even with BIOS 1.00. See here (go down to “MSI K7T266 Issues”)
- Even with an “unfixed” motherboard, memory scores improve with a BIOS upgrade (though there’s a lot of reports of instability, especially with version 1.09).
- Most boards that have been sold appear to be the “unfixed” variety, though I have at least one example of a “fixed” one.
- The best scores come from the resistor in the right place, and a newer BIOS. However, if you happen to be stuck with the board, that alone is not a huge tragedy.
There are two separate issues here, folks: the resistor, and the BIOS. It’s not all one or the other.
Update 11:00AM 4/17/01: OCWorkbench took a soldering
iron to another Via DDR mobo, the Soltek SL-75DRV, and reports a 10% improvement in memory scores.
So it’s not just the MSI board with this problem. Could well be that the initial Via reference design was faulty.
Again, there are two problems here. The first is a BIOS problem. The second is the resistor.
Update 1:45PM: About fifteen people with these boards have been kind enough to tell me what they got.
With the exception of two people so far (one bought his in Portugal, and the other bought the RAID version), all who reported said they had “unfixed” boards with the resistor at R127.
I’ll probably post the actual comments (minus names) of people who have this board tomorrow. Most weren’t able to report memory scores under multiple BIOSes, but those who posted 1.09 and 1.10 scores posted scores higher than what was the reported norm for the 1.00 BIOs.
For those who did post multiple scores, most showed higher scores. One person showed a slight decrease in memory score.
Stability was all over the place. Some have had nightmares with the boards, at least one running the infamous 1.09 is wondering what the fuss is all about. Again, you’ll get to see the comments tomorrow.
What should you do if you have the board? I personally would send it back, not just because a memory score, but because this whole board looks to be half-cooked and rushed. The early reports of stability on this board look to be due to conservative settings. Once the settings got more aggressive, problems started to occur.
It looks like most of the MSI boards out there are “unfixed” boards. I don’t think you can count on MSI recalling all the boards with resistors at R127. I don’t think you can count on all the problems going away and stellar performance coming in with a new BIOS. I could be wrong on either, but the prudent move is to send it back.
Update 3:30 P.M.:
Which Came First, The Chicken or The Egg? That’s what this MSI dispute is turning into.
If you take an “unfixed” board, update the BIOS, then “fix” it, the BIOS looks like the major improvement, and the fix the minor one.
If you take an “unfixed” board and fix it (or if you have a fixed board to begin with), then update the BIOS, the fix looks like the major improvment, and the BIOS a minor one.
Pretty weird. 🙂
Update 5:00 P.M. Newegg.com is now selling a “bug-free” version of the K7TPro266. No “bugged” version for sale any longer, but those of you who bought the “bugged” version from Newegg.com should get in contact with them and see what they have to say about this.
Update 7:00 P.M.:
1) Newegg.com apparently is requiring you RMA the old board and order a new one.
2) However, just what you’ll end up getting is an open question, just got this email:
I just called Newegg and the person I talked to didn’t know what version they had except they were the non bugged version and said I should call MSI. I called and talked to a tech rep that knew what was going on. He told me that the ones with the r126 version were not a final release version. They were faster but unstable. The shipped version with the r127 is not as fast but stable. I then asked him about the BIOS and he said the only version from them now is the 1.0 and 1.10 and the 1.10 is not as stable, they are working on a new BIOS and should be out in about 3 weeks.
So which is the “real” MSI board?