VIA's KT266A chipset appears

— 1:01 PM on September 2, 2001

The long-rumored new revision of the KT266 chipset with a much-improved memory controller has shown up in reviews at the cold, HardOCP,, and VIAHardware. The tests show the KT266A pulling down Sandra Stream memory scores over 1000MB/s using nothing more than a T-bird Athlon. Quake III and 3DMark scores are much higher now, too, as a result.

A couple of thoughts come to mind here. First, VIA's P4X266 chipset has shown excellent memory performance with the Pentium 4 in initial testing, but seeing how the T-bird fares on the KT266A, the gap between the P4 and Athlon in this regard is closing rapidly. No doubt when used in combination with a Palomino Athlon, this chipset will use memory bandwidth very well. With the KT266A, a 1.4GHz Athlon looks to have a good chance to retake the performance crown from the 2GHz Pentium 4.

Second, I wonder how much room for improvement will be left for NVIDIA's nForce and it's DASP (quasi-L3 cache w/prefetch kinda thingy) with VIA's latest performing this well. Perhaps not much, I suspect.

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