Conclusion: Gigabyte GA-6VXDC7 Beats The Competition
Of all the boards we tested, all of which came furnished with the VIA Apollo Pro 133A chipset, the Gigabyte GA-6VXDC7 was the best compromise. It costs a mere $110, hardly more than a single-CPU board, all the while performing well in both CPU modes. The fact that the Intel Pentium III is no longer the 600-pound gorilla in the market is obvious.
We've shown that reasonably priced dual systems based on inexpensive boards with a VIA chipset can be specifically assembled for semi-professional use. Whether a VIA chipset is acceptable in this market segment or not - that's another question, with an answer that opens another can of worms. In the end-customer market, some users are awaiting boards supplied with an AMD 760MP chipset, which is currently not available for less than $750. Anyone on the lookout for economical dual processing won't be able to do without the models we tested here. It goes without saying that the Intel Pentium III is no longer one of the fastest processors on the market these days.
On the other hand, it ought to be mentioned that VIA doesn't wring optimal performance from the Pentium III. Its incredibly low memory transfer performance has been well-known for some time now. Nevertheless, the chipset can be had for a song, in contrast to the Intel 815E, Intel 850 or even the AMD 760MP. For a bit more performance, the competition demands substantially more money, which makes for a hefty price tag on the motherboard.