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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [08.19.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson

Manufactured by: Gigabyte
Est. Street Price: $80-95

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The Comeback Kid?

Although just recently released, VIA has been advertising its KT600 chipset for many months now. In fact the advertising campaign seemed to begin right around the same time that the KT400a was released. At the time this seemed very strange to me, however after reviewing an actual KT400a I can understand why VIA's eyes were firmly set on the future. It has almost been a painful experience over the last 8 months to watch VIA not only lose it's crown as  AMD chipset king to Nvidia but to watch them be pushed almost completely out of the socket A chipset market completely. Competition is a good thing in any market, especially if you're the consumer. So is the new offering from VIA able to compete with the big boys from Nvidia or does it get left behind with its snot nosed little brother, better known as the KT400a?

The Specs

The board we are looking at today is one of three from Gigabyte's KT600 series. The The GA-7VT600 we have here today features three IEEE 1394 firewire ports and onboard LAN, but you can also get the basic board without either, or one with just LAN. A basic rundown of the of specs featured on the GA-7VT600 1394 are:

CPU: Socket A AMD Duron/Athlon MP/Athlon XP
Chipset: Via KT600 + Via VT8237
FSB: 100/133/166/200
Memory: 3 DDR SDRAM PC3200, 3GB Max
Onboard IDE: 2 x E/IDE Ultra DMA/133, 2 x SATA RAID. 6 drives max
USB: 8 x USB 2.0 ports, 6 included, 2 optional
Onboard Audio: 6 channel ALC655 AC'97 integrated sound
Onboard NIC: 1 x 10/100 RTL8139C
Onboard Firewire:3 x IEEE 1394 ports, 2 included, 1 optional
Expansion Slots: 1x AGP 8x/4x, 6 x 320bit PCI
BIOS: 2 x 4M bit flash ROM

For a full list of features you can check out Gigabyte's website

The main difference between the KT600 and the KT400a is the new VT8237 south bridge which allows for a couple extra USB ports as well as native SATA Raid support, something not yet found on the Nvidia chipset. You can also bet that VIA has tweaked their FastStream64 technology to better combat the nForce2's Dual Channel Memory Controller.


The 7VT600, like most Gigabyte motherboards comes stocked with Gigabyte's dual BIOS technology. Some would argue that the second BIOS chip is a frivolous feature, but those would be people who've never experienced the pains of a corrupted BIOS.

Aside from that, there really isn't a whole lot else to discuss in terms of specifications on what is a sparsely featured board from manufacturer that is pretty well known for producing some high end feature packed boards.  Notable by it's absence is the DPS 6 phase power system that has was a mainstay on the last round of high end motherboards from Gigabyte, including the 7NNXP.

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