Socket A Is Coming: Test of 10 Boards

How Expensive Are Socket A Boards With KT133 Chipset?

Many test magazines take a fairly one-sided look at the price factor "CPU" forgetting to take the cost of a motherboard into account as well.

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Intel 440BX, Socket 370up from $65
VIA Apollo Pro 133A, Socket 370up from $75
VIA KT133, Socket Aup from $95
Intel 815/Solano, Socket 370up from $120

The prices for Socket A motherboards have come down a lot in the past weeks. Especially the combination Duron/KT133 has become a quite interesting option. Despite its lower price is AMD's Duron significantly faster than Intel's Celeron at the same clock frequency. The affordable AMD processor achieves this mainly with a faster Front Side Bus (FSB) of 100 MHz (200 MHz DDR). On the Celeron the FSB is specified to 66 MHz. Additionally Duron profits from its supreme floating-point performance. Last but not least Duron is also a very good choice for overclocking friends. With a few tricks this CPU can be overclocked to up to 150 % of its specified clock.

Current Processor Prices

Until recently the general opinion was that Socket A systems for AMD CPUs were more expensive than Socket 370 systems for Intel processors. It is easy to see why, if you just compare the official retail prices in Dollars published by Intel and AMD for quantities of 1000 units. Street prices are often quite different however. Listed below are the processor prices we found at large online retailers like Price Watch . We chose the currently most popular segment for clock frequencies: 700 MHz.

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Low-cost CPUsPrices
AMD Duron 700, Socket Aup from $90
Intel Celeron 700, Socket 370up from $150
Mainstream CPUsPrices
AMD Athlon 700, Socket Aup from $125
Intel Pentium III 700, Socket 370up from $175

If you add up motherboard and CPU prices you'll notice that the combination Duron/KT133 motherboard offers the best price/performance ratio today. Using an Athlon is also more cost effective than using a Pentium III.

Uwe Scheffel