DDR For AMD: 16 Boards With VIA KT266

This is a big round-up to digest so, we have written it in such a way that you can read each board review individually, and as a standalone piece, although the test results are combined for comparison's sake. Therefore, we repeat common assertions about the pros and cons of features such as USB ports five and six, and ANR, for each review to be comprehensive, and not because we like to repeat ourselves.

Amongst the herd of mammoth chip manufacturers, VIA isn't considered one of the leaders, despite its tremendous growth. With its head slightly bowed, this grey pachyderm trots behind others who trumpet loudly, pointing the way towards new pastures. VIAs competitors have drawn more attention to themselves through flashy functions and bleeding-edge high-tech features. For about two years now, VIA has been serious about its role mass production - quite in contrast to AMD and the Taiwanese rivals, such as ALi and SiS.

Nevertheless, the VIA KT266 has arrived at last - although it was announced early on, its market launch experienced considerable delays, and it will also take a few days before the first boards are available in large quantities. Still, VIA is the last among the manufacturers to offer a chipset with DDR-SDRAM support for AMD Athlon/Duron. And it's high time too, since powerful competitors are on the horizon. For instance, Nvidia's nForce should be a strong competitor in this category with dual-channel DDR support.

In previous tests, we have already examined the ALi Magik 1, AMD 760 and SiS 735 chipsets, highlighting the pros and cons. The fact remains that up until now, the SiS 735 has been regarded as the fastest chipset for AMD Athlon/Duron. This begs the question as to how VIA did its homework and solved the interaction with DDR-SDRAM.

No fewer than 16 boards landed in our THG lab. Most of the boards came directly from Taiwan, and most local vendors didn't even have a single sample at hand. Fortunatley, the fact that we have offices in the US, Europe and Asia prepared us to deliver a full set of benchmarks by helping us to source products wherever there was availability.

  1. DDR Power For AMD Athlon/Duron
  2. DDR Power For AMD Athlon/Duron, Continued
  3. Aopen AK77 Plus: Now It's Stable
  4. Aopen AK77 Plus: Now It's Stable, Continued
  5. Asus A7V266: Ready For Palomino
  6. Biostar M7VIB: Designed For OEMs
  7. Chaintech CT-7VJD2: For SDRAM And DDR-SDRAM
  8. Chaintech CT-7VJD2: For SDRAM And DDR-SDRAM, Continued
  9. DFI AD70-SR: Ideal For Overclocking
  10. DFI AD72-SR: SDRAM/DDR-SDRAM Combination
  11. Epox EP-8KHA: The Overclocking Powerhouse
  12. Epox EP-8KHA: The Overclocking Powerhouse, Continued
  13. Fujitsu-Siemens D1279: The Ultimate In Stability
  14. Fujitsu-Siemens D1279: The Ultimate In Stability, Continued
  15. Gigabyte GA-7VTX: Countless Jumpers
  16. Jetway 866ASR: Nondescript
  17. MSI K7T266 Pro (MS-6380): A Worthy Leader
  18. MSI K7T266 Pro (MS-6380): A Worthy Leader, Continued
  19. QDI KD7 (K7V 8366): Not Your Average Board
  20. Shuttle AK31: High Voltage
  21. Shuttle AK31: High Voltage, Continued
  22. Soltek SL-75DRV: A Good All-Rounder
  23. Soltek SL-75DRV: A Good All-Rounder, Continued
  24. Soyo SY-K7V (Dragon): All Aboard?
  25. Soyo SY-K7V (Dragon): All Aboard? Continued
  26. VIA VT5431E: Reference Board 2
  27. Test Configuration: Special Features
  28. OpenGL Performance: Quake 3 Arena
  29. Direct3D Performance: Unreal Tournament
  30. Office Performance: Sysmark 2000
  31. MPEG-4 Encoding: Flask Mpeg And Divx
  32. OpenGL Rendering: SPECviewperf 6.1.2
  33. SPECviewperf DRV-07
  34. SPECviewperf DX-06
  35. SPECviewperf Light-04
  36. SPECviewperf MedMCAD-01
  37. SPECviewperf ProCDRS-03
  38. Linux Compilation: THG Benchmarking Kernel
  39. Up Close And Personal: Motherboard Configuration
  40. Up Close And Personal: Motherboard Configuration, Continued
  41. Up Close And Personal: Motherboard Configuration, Continued
  42. Summary: MSI And Soltek Are The Fastest
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