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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 Performance

We've stacked the KT600 chipset up against it's main competition in the form of the nForce2 (Soltek SL-7FRN-L) as well as its predecessor, the KT400a (DFI Lanparty KT400a).

For testing purposes all motherboards were setup with an AIUGA Athlon XP 1700+, 2 sticks of 256MB Samsung PC2700 RAM (run in dual channel for the nForce2), a Soltek SL-GF4TI4200 (41.09), a WD 20GB Caviar ATA100, 7200rpm, 2MB HDD, and a clean install of Windows XP SP1.  The latest nForce2 detonator and Via 4 in 1 drivers were used for each respective motherboard.

On to the benches!

We'll once again start things off with the memory benchmarks.

Off to a much better start, the KT600 does a good job of keeping up with its nForce2 competition, especially when you consider the extra 64bit pipe the dual channel nForce2 configuration allows for.

Let's see if things carry over into the Aida32 benchmark tests.

The nForce2 chipset takes full advantage of its dual channel configuration to pull ahead during the memory write benchmark. As we discovered during our Corsair memory review though, just because this extra bandwidth is available it doesn't mean it will be used effectively. Time to probe a little deeper with both some synthetic and real world gaming benchmarks.

We'll start things off with the 3dmark series.

Wow!  Not only does the KT600 compete with the nForce2 but here it actually pulls ahead. This is most definitely encouraging news for VIA.

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