Cost-Defying Single-Channel Platforms: Chipsets from NVIDIA and VIA

NVIDIA nForce2 400 Squares Up Against VIA KT600

The Athlon XP remains far and away one of the best-value solutions you can get. However, most experts focus on the fastest available platform - the nForce2 Ultra 400 chipset from NVIDIA. Back in the real world, however, most users have a budget and can't afford their dream system.

VIA's KT600 chipset is the next generation, after the KT400A. Its biggest competitor, the nForce 400, is a trimmed-down version of the nForce2 Ultra 400 without the dual-channel memory interface. But you really have to ask yourself whether you need this particular feature. After all, the vast majority of pre-assembled AMD-based PCs sold use a single-channel chipset. Knowing this, we decided to let the low-cost model show us what it was made of.