Chipset Duel - VIA Vs. Nvidia
The selection of chipsets for Socket 462 (Socket A) is growing wider. Having presented an under-performer in the KT266 chipset , VIA followed up straightaway with a newcomer dubbed the KT266A . The only difference between it and its predecessor lies in the KT266A's memory interface, which was designed to be a real speed demon. Rumor has it that it has been copied from the SiS 735 . However, there's no official statement to that effect - not from VIA itself, anyway.
The idea behind it, however, is sound: until recently, the benchmark results had been labeling the SiS 735 the best performer with AMD Athlon & Duron. The VIA Apollo KT266A chipset is clearly intended for use en masse, while the Taiwanese competition SiS and ALi have a much smaller slice of the pie, installing considerably fewer chipsets.
Now there's a new kid on the block joining the three Far East incumbents: Nvidia, well known for its graphics chips, is offering a highly integrated chipset by the name of nForce . It's available in various flavors, the most important difference being support for either single or dual-channel memory. Both of the boards we tested use the nForce 420D (formerly known as Crush 12), which has optimum performance with classic DDR SDRAM in a dual-channel configuration.