VIA has done an excellent job in producing a Pentium 4 chipset that performs very close to, if not higher than Intel's i850 chipset. With similar performance combined with low price, it would be unwise to purchase an i850 motherboard over a P4X266 board unless you require the added memory bandwidth that RDRAM provides. That said, with the results of the recent Intel vs. VIA law suit still up in the air, we will not be seeing many of the larger motherboard manufacturers produce motherboards based on the P4X266 chipset for a while yet.
Besides a couple of layout problems, both P4X266 boards tested in this review were very impressive, especially the Shuttle AV40R. The AV40R features all the overclocking and tweaking options you could ever want in a motherboard and provides slightly better performance than the ACorp 4VPX266A. Although the performance difference is negligible, if you are an overclocker and require RAID, I definitely recommend you purchase the Shuttle AV40R. If you don't care for RAID but are an overclocker, then the Shuttle AV40 is the motherboard for you. Finally, If you don't care for overclocking options or RAID and prefer onboard LAN, then you won't be disappointed with the ACorp 4VPX266A. The 4VPX266A is not yet available to the public however, we have been told that this should change over the next few weeks/months.
I would finally like to thank John and Fiona Gatt from VIA Technologies for providing the P4X266 motherboards tested in this review. I would also like to thank Stephanie Silvester from Intel for providing us with the i850 motherboard and the Pentium 4 2GHz processor.
Given the fact that the P4x266 performs on par with Intel's i850 chipset it is clearly a superior option. The P4X266 is a feature packed yet very stable chipset solution with an excellent price to boot. Therefore it gives me great pleasure to award the VIA P4X266 TweakTown's Editor's Choice Award.
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