Via's KT266 arrives

— 2:18 PM on April 3, 2001

On Monday, while browsing the HardOCP, I noticed that MSI had a press release up announcing the completion and shipping of their MSI K7T266 Pro.

This was interesting because many were predicting Darth Via and their KT266 chipset would usher forth a new age of DDR-powered Athlons. In fact, the current king, the AMD 760, was having a tulmultuous time being implemented properly and in sufficient quantity. Such difficulties caused disasters like the MSI K7 Master V1.0, which could only support a 100MHz bus. The on-again, off-again existence of the Asus A7M266 also served as a sign of trouble.

With the K7T266 Pro just making it out the door, I wasn't expecting a review any time soon. It seems Johan at Ace's Hardware was in the right place at the right time, though. In typical Ace fashion, his review of the MSI K7T266 Pro is a spectacular fury of low-level synthetic benchmarks and real-world applications. His suites of applications are always fascinating to examine, because they seem to leave no stone unturned in finding a weakness.

The item of greatest interest and conern to me in the article lay here, in their AGP testing. Perhaps it was a fluke, perhaps it's a "young BIOS" issue, or perhaps it's simply an issue with the current Via 4-in-1 drivers. All I know is that it distinctly reminds me of a time before this fix existed and more drastic measures such as this had to be employed.

Michael S. of Lost Circuits and our own Dr. Damage have shown that current DDR chipsets and certain DDR modules can sometimes have a certain animosity for each other. A by-product of the newness of the technology, I'm sure. Johan's testing consisted of only one brand of DDR module, so we don't know whether the K7T266 Pro would share issues similiar to what Dr. Damage faced here or Michael S faced here and here. Windows 2000 problems and shaky memory support—caveat emptor, gentlemen.

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