DDR333 For Athlon: VIA KT333 vs. KT266A

Conclusion: Many New Features With KT333, DDR333 Performs To Full Potential Only With CL2 - Fastest Chipset For AMD CPUs

Never before has VIA produced a chipset with such new functions as the KT333. Significant improvements include the increased memory clock (166 MHz), which supports DDR 333 and DDR266 modules as well as DDR200. However, optimal performance with the VIA KT333 is only attainable when used in conjunction with a fast DDR333 module and CL2.0. In our laboratory tests, however, we were unable to get the hand-picked memory module (PC2700) from Corsair (CM64SD256-2700CX2H) to run in CAS latency mode CL2.0 at 166 MHz memory clock, regardless of the motherboards we used (Asus A7V333, MSI KT3 Ultra, Gigabyte GA-7VRXP and the VIA reference board VT5615A). When set to CL2.5, there were no problems.

Compared to its direct predecessor, the VIA KT266A, our benchmark results show that the VIA KT333 is currently the fastest chipset for AMD Duron, Athlon and XP processors. Among the interesting features is the Ultra-DMA/133 interface for both of the IDE interfaces and USB 2.0 support. In the next few weeks, VIA will replace the Northbridge KT333 with a pin-compatible KT333A, which automatically provides AGP 8x. Which of the big graphics chip manufacturers (ATI or Nvidia) will be the first to introduce the appropriate card for this is a question that is yet to be answered. A further aspect is related to the Front Side Bus of the AMD Athlon XP : for the first time, the VIA KT333 is capable of asynchronous as well as synchronous operation of the system clock with 166 MHz. This makes it possible to run an Athlon XP at 166 MHz FSB clock, if AMD allows for it. The advantages here are the higher transfer rates of the Northbridge and the Southbridge, as well as a synchronous connection to the memory bus. We are definitely all for the introduction of a 166 MHz FSB clock for the AMD Athlon XP !

A total of 26 various benchmark tests clearly shows that the VIA KT333 chipset the best and most capable chipset for AMD CPUs. With only a few exceptions, not even the Nvidia nForce with its expensive dual-channel technology (DDR266) can put up a real fight against the newcomer KT333. With the launch of the KT333, the KT266A will become a thing of the past - you simply won’t want to miss out on all the new features such as ATA/133, USB 2.0 or DDR333 support .