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Athlon KX133 Motherboard Roundup - A Nail-Biting Affair

Test Configuration And Benchmark Tests

To conduct a comparitive test that is as practical as possible, we chose components that are currently available on the market. The AMD Athlon with 800 MHz is part of the present upper class of x86 processors; 128 MByte RAM is now the standard in PC systems. The memory consists of a DIMM module from Crucial Technologies (Micron) with a CAS latency of 2.

We used Windows 98 SE and Windows NT 4.0 Workstation (Service Pack 6a) as operating system platforms. The initial plan was to run all tests under Windows 2000 Pro as well, but we gave up because of the behavior of the Nvidia pre-release driver 5.13/5.14 in connection with the VIAAGP.SYS driver for the VIA-AGP support. Currently only the Asus K7V delivers somewhat reliable results. All other test candidates in the comparison showed instabilities in this case.

For the performance tests we concentrated on benchmarks that especially use the full capacity of the memory and the AGP bus. The following table shows the complete test configuration that is the same for all candidates in this comparison.

Hardware Setup
ProcessorAMD Athlon 800 A
L2 Cache Clock320 MHz
Front Side Bus100 MHz Double Data Rate
Memory Clock133 MHz
System MemoryWichmann Workx PC133 SDRAM 128 MB CL2(max. 1.1 GByte data transfer rate)
Graphics CardNvidia GeForce 256 SDR 32 MB, 120 MHz Chip Clock, 166 MHz Memory Clock
Shared Components
Network Adapter3COM 3C905B-TX
Hard DiskSeagate Barracuda ATA ST320430A
Drivers
KX133 driver for NT 4VIA 4in1 v4.20 (HDD Busmastering only)
KX133 driver for Win98VIA 4in1 v4.17
GeForce driver for NT 45.14 (OpenGL and AGP support)
GeForce driver for Win985.08 (Direct3D and OpenGL support)
Environment Settings
Operating SystemsWindows 98 SE, DirectX 7.0aWindows NT4, Service Pack 6a 4.00.1381
Quake 3 ArenaRetail Versioncommand line = +set cd_nocd 1 +set s_initsound 0Benchmark using 'Q3DEMO1'
ExpendableDownloadable Demo Versioncommand line = -timedemo
Unreal TournamentVer. 4.05bhigh quality textures, medium quality skins, no tweaksBenchmark using 'UTBench'.
SPECviewperf 6.1.11280x1024x32x85