First Look Exclusive: VIA KT400 for AMD Athlon

Conclusion: DDR400 For AMD Athlon XP

Up to now, the AMD platform could only use DDR333 memory to take on the stronger competition from Intel with its Rambus (PC1066) and DDR400 (SiS 648 chipset), so with the launch of the VIA KT400 chipset, DDR400 memory should gain momentum across the whole spectrum of the PC community. The advantages of DDR400 (PC3200) compared to DDR333 (PC2700) are obvious: a clock speed that has been increased from 166 MHz to 200 MHz also increases the theoretical bandwidth by nearly 17%.

A first test sample from QDI came in the form of the Kudoz 7X with the KT400 chipset, and the initial benchmark results look promising. However, the KT400 is not yet used to its full advantage, so we did not take it through the rigors of the usual 25 tests in the standard THG repertoire. This will change, obviously, and this is just a first look. In any case, the VIA KT400 offers many other interesting features that had not been integrated into the KT333. In addition to DDR400, it also supports AGP 8x and USB 2.0. It is also backward compatible with the less powerful DDR333 and DDR266 memory. By installing a mechanism for thermal protection in its Kudoz 7X, QDI proves itself to be progressive.

We'll be bringing you a comparison of boards with the VIA KT400 chipset as soon as VIA officially launches the KT400. Until then, the VIA KT333 with the new Southbridge VT8235 remains the first choice, as integrated in the Epox EP-8K5A2, for instance.