We must stress again from the outset that if a motherboard goes strictly by the book, it does not actually have to support the operation of the Athlon64 with two double-side DIMMs with a memory rate of 200 MHz. The specification from AMD is unfortunately very conservative in this respect.
However, some manufacturers demonstrate that 32 memory chips do not necessarily represent too high a load for the Athlon64. This especially applies to the Asus, as the K8V Deluxe generally comes to grips with all the memory pairs used. Chaintech, Gigabyte, MSI and Soyo share second place, in that they only really capitulate in the case of one memory type. The approach adopted by Gigabyte and MSI was unfair: both firms repeatedly "supported" us with BIOS versions for the test, which are not available to the end user.
If we include the correct recognition of the SPD parameters, Asus is clearly ahead of all its rivals with 12 positive results. Abit and MSI achieved nine, followed by five other boards with eight always correctly booked memory parameters.
The really interesting outcome of this project is that numerous manufacturers have already developed BIOS versions that make the operation of Athlon64 possible with two double-sided DDR400-DIMMSs. This is all the more amazing, as they therefore contradict their own statements in which they declare their adherence to AMD specifications.
Anyone toying with the idea of buying an Athlon64 system should exercise care with regard to the memory modules to be used. If possible, a right of return for the motherboard and/or the working memory should be agreed with the dealer when purchasing items - or alternatively a single, 1 GB DIMM should be bought.
The controversy surrounding the subject of memory will most probably die down now that the Socket 939 has been launched. All processors for this socket include the dual-channel memory interface, which became known through the Athlon64 FX. This then also works with non-registered DIMMs.
Only a day before this article was posted, Gigabyte removed the latest BIOS version F13 from their website. We couldn't get any official statement from Gigabyte yet as everybody is busy with Computex preparations, but offering special BIOS versions and removing them after the tests is not particularly the way to go.
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