Skip to main content

New Hope For Athlon - The VIA Apollo KX133 Chipset

SPECviewperf 6.1.1 Under Windows NT

The workstation-benchmark SPECviewperf 6.1.1 depends on both, memory-bandwidth as well as AGP-bandwidth, Let's have a look at the scores.

The results are very surprising indeed. KX133 scores even worse than Irongate in AWadvs-03 and ProCDRS-02 (the two only benchmarks that are using textures), but it scores significantly better than Irongate in the other three. Could it be that VIA has still a bit of work to do? KX133 should never score worse than Irongate.

Again I tried the different BIOS-settings to find out what's responsible for KX133's performance. I altered AGP4x/AGP2x, PC133/PC100 and CAS2/CAS3.

The most surprising results are the ones where KX133 uses only 100 MHz memory clock. Here the AWadvs-03 and ProCDRS-02 scores are way less than the Irongate scores, the other results are almost identical to Irongate's, just as we would expect it. As already mentioned, AWadvs-03 and ProCDRS-02 are using textures, the others don't. Could this be the reason for the bad performance of KX133? Could it be possible that NVIDIA's GeForce-driver has a problem with KX133 or does GeForce's NT driver dislike Athlon altogether? It was definitely something to look into, which is why I decided to do something rather unusual, I ran SPECviewperf under Windows98. I couldn't have been more surprised about what I found.