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Athlon XP Chipset Shootout - VIA KT400 vs. VIA KT400A vs. nVidia nForce 2

By: Shawn Baker | AMD CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Jun 12, 2003 4:00 am



Epox's nForce2 is the quickest motherboard thanks to its Dual Channel configuration. The KT400 held its ground and MSI has been able to put together a very nice product. The DFI is the coolest looking board in the roundup (and possibly ever) and comes with a host of features to match what the market is looking for - We are currently investigating the performance difference between the KT400 and KT400A and why VIA's newest chipset is represented as being slower in our benchmarks. Considering the KT400 doesn't have support for Dual Channel, it performed very well in a large amount of tests, it will be interesting to see when VIA brings Dual Channel chipsets to the party, if they even do. We would have liked to be able to test VIA's newest Athlon XP chipset, the KT600, which promises to deliver greater performance but samples were limited at time of testing due to VIA still perfecting the product. Once we receive VIA KT600 samples, we will make the results known.


The benchmarks really do speak for themselves and if you are fortunate enough to have two high performance memory modules the nForce 2 board would be the way to go, if you simply have one memory module and you're not looking at getting a second any time soon, the KT400 MSI board would be perfect as there is no need for two memory modules exactly the same to work in Dual Channel mode.


The DFI board stands out thanks to its host of features and amazing package; while the board performed the worst out of the lot it isn't to say that DFI haven't produced a decent product as far as contents go. DFI's first attempt into the enthusiast market has been done very well with a lot of thought put towards what the end user wants.


The KT400 and nForce 2 come out pretty close but in the end the power of Dual Channel showed and in most benchmarks we see it pull ahead. While the KT400A was quicker in memory benchmarks it far from showed in any other benchmark. This was unfortunate considering its predecessor, the KT400, was capable of beating it in just about everything. It's excellent to see that nVidia has put solid R & D into one of their newest chipsets. They have given enthusiast users everything they want from good overclocking options to Dual Channel DDR support. If you don't want to spend the dollars with Intel and still want a very fast setup, nForce 2 is the way to go and for this reason it has been awarded our Editor's Choice award.


TweakTown's Editors Choice award goes to nVidia with the Epox nForce 2



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