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Conclusion

Athlon64 Boards Found Lagging in Memory Support
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Starting with the good news: both latecomers, the Abit KV8-MAX3 and Soyos CK8 Dragon Plus, raced through our test course with a decent performance and made a good impression. Abit has gained a clear lead in our approval ratings due to the high standard of equipment.

However, adding or swapping modules from different vendors generated poor results. Only two manufacturers, Biostar and Chaintech, offerred no cause for complaint. All the others either produced errors in the Prime95 torture test with respect to one or several memory types, crashed or didn't even want to boot up in some cases.

Given these overall disappointing test results, motherboard manufacturers' claims that theAthlon64 can acccomodate large memory volumes of more than 4 GB borders on the absurd.

Moever, as our test has shown, when two DIMM modules are used on most of today's commerically-available motherboards, often incomprehensible problems can be expected.A memory upgrade can thus be especially problematic, as the localisation of the problem-causing components can take hours and put a strain on the user or white box vendor's the nerves.

Not even well-known names like Gigabyte or MSI are a guarantee for smooth operation, and therefore the only option that remains for users who need 1 GB or more memory is to study merchandise return agreements carefully. We can't even guarantee that the boards from Biostar and Chaintech will work perfectly with all the available DIMMs. These two manufacturers have simply done their "homework" better and have passed our spot check. We hope defects will be remedied quickly through improved BIOS versions.

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