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Under The Hood: 140 Chipsets Compared

Conclusion: The Chipset In A PC System Is Decisive

This comparison gives you a clear overview of the various chipsets from individual manufacturers. The most important thing that you should know, however, is that the processor and graphics card alone are not the only factors affecting the performance capability of a PC system. Rather, the chipset plays a much greater role in determining the performance, the features available and, ultimately, the upgradeability of a PC.

This is a problem that faces many consumers who have bought complete systems from a discount store. A fast CPU and large hard disk drive are easily marketable in terms of "MHz" and "GB," but the fact is, the PC still wimps out on you. The reason for this is that the motherboards used in these systems have been optimized to keep costs low. And this is all in keeping with the motto of OEMs: nothing is cheap enough that can't be made even cheaper! The result: a system that is this cheap quickly becomes material for the garbage dump.

The benchmark chart above shows the dramatic differences between the individual chipsets: while the VIA KT133A chipset (in combination with an AMD Athlon 2000+) attains 193 fps, the use of a VIA KT333 results in a frame rate increase of 25%!