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VIA Apollo KT266 Revisited - Much Ado About Nothing

Final Conclusion

We took the criticism seriously and made the effort to retest VIA's Apollo KT266 chipset with the latest BIOS. However, the situation remains the same. AMD760 is the only viable solution for Athlon plus DDR-memory. Apollo KT266 and DDR-SDRAM are simply not providing enough of a performance advantage over KT133A plus PC133 SDRAM to justify its additional cost. The bottom line remains the same. If you want Athlon plus DDR go AMD760!

I'd also like to mention a few other important issues. We are actually testing our DDR-platforms with PC2100 DDR-memory that has a CAS-latency of only 2 clocks. The majority of DDR-memory modules available come with a CAS-latency of 2.5, which makes those DDR-platforms perform even worse than what you can see reflected in our benchmark results. You can imagine that with CL 2.5 DDR-memory, the performance advantage of KT266 over KT133A is getting close to zero, if it is not even slower. Keep this important issue in mind when making a choice between KT133A and a DDR-platform. PC133-SDRAM with CL2 is common nowadays, while PC2100 DDR-SDRAM with CL2 is extremely hard to get and also rather expensive.

Please don't make the mistake to judge badly about DDR-SDRAM only because it doesn't offer much of a performance improvement in Athlon or Pentium III systems. Those two processors are simply not designed to really benefit from the virtues of DDR-SDRAM. I still claim that Pentium 4 is currently the one processor that would show the biggest improvement with DDR-memory. Unfortunately we are unable to prove that, since Intel would not supply a DDR-platform for Pentium 4 anytime soon. I am sure that Rambus is very relieved to hear that.