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[b]The KT133A is not worth upgrading to[/b]

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Senior Member
Dec 17, 2000
I think the new KT133A chipset is nothing but a waste of money for us overclockers. Of course it is desirable if one is getting a new board cuz of future cpu support, but it is NOT worth upgrading to.

I know a lot of ppl are excited to see what AMD's can do at extreme fsb speeds and are hoping to see some whopping benchmarks figures at like 140mhz fsb

Here is the deal:
Recent reviews have shown that one can expect 3-5% speed increase from kt133a over kt133 with memory running at 133mhz in non overclocked situations.

The ddr pumped fsb is no bottleneck in the current AMD's so the extra 33mhz fsb speed is not helping at lot (3-5%)

But what happens when we overclock? We all know that a KT133 chipset is not good fsb overclocker, still many good boards can do 110 mhz without problems. This gives memory speed at 146mhz, and if you can get fsb up to 115 you get mem speed = 153mhz.

To match this memory speed you have to run 140mhz+ fsb speed with the new KT133A, and it seems like ppl is having hard time getting there.

Now to get optimal performance out of the KT133A you have to run somewhere near 140mhz fsb, that render the mhz selection available more coarse. With the 0.5 stepping in multipliers you are getting 70 mhz total speed intervals between optimal memory speeds, compared to approx 55 mhz with the KT133. You might get lucky and you might not.

I am saying that the expected power is already there (in the kt133), the option to run this high mem speed render the new KT133A chipset nearly useless.

It would be fun to see head to head comparison between KT133 and KT133A in overclocked situation. With both mobos taking full advantage of ALL the tweaks.

How many properly tweaked KT133 have you seen reviwed? Look at this memory benchmark from [H]ard ocp and take a special note of the comment.

"If you are used to dealing with VIA chipsets, this should no doubt knock your socks off. This is the first time I have ever seen a memory score in excess of 600 on a non-DDR, non-RAMBUS board. This benchmark was taken at 140MHz FSB using Corsair CAS2 PC133 SDRam with the CPU speed running at 1.12GHz."

Well I have seen many memory scores in excess of 600 on the web and therefore I cannot understand what on earth they are talking about. (see one of my own attached, nothing special for KT133)

Keep your money in your pockets overclockers, learn how to tweak your KT133 rather that spending $170 on a new KT133A, after all this is nothing but a marketing trick from VIA.
I agree that it will take some time before the 133A matures...or DDR may be "the next big thing" .

I do have a question on your Sandra memory scores though. I have a D-750@963 (9x107) that gives me both ALU and FPU scores over 600 using 128MB Mushkin rev3. BIOS memory settings are 133 2T, 2T, 2T.

The real issue though, is how well any system runs in the "real" world :)
The KT133A is not worth upgrading to

Yes of course real world performance is always hard to read out of benchmarks, however the Sandra mem score is good benchmark for quick estimate on real world performance.

What do you think of the [H]ard ocp comment? I sent them email with some questions, will post if I get reply.

What mobo are you using? I am only running generic pc133, cannot use the fastest mem settings ;)
Not having read the [H]ardOcp review myself, the only thing I can say is that it's no wonder people get confused with all the different results/opinions available on the web.

I used an MSI K7TPro2A board to test the D-750 on. The option to run RAM at 133MHz is a nice feature.
although, it probably would be a good upgrade if the system being retired was an old, slow, crummy system, not one with the kt133 chipset...

otherwise, i think you're right, its not worth it yet ;-)
hooziewhatsit (Jan 17, 2001 12:07 a.m.):
although, it probably would be a good upgrade if the system being retired was an old, slow, crummy system, not one with the kt133 chipset...

otherwise, i think you're right, its not worth it yet ;-)

Yes of course it is a good upgrade for old systems, but like you said not if you already got good KT133 board.
I agree. Motherboard upgrades alone rarely, if ever, make a large difference in performance.

Of course, everything's relative. If you're the type that has a 1.2 GHz CPU, 512 MB of RAM, and every other goodie in your box. Then why the hell not get the KT133A?

That goes double for guys that'll spend $500+ on a cooling system for a $50 CPU. :)

What's my point? This is an enthusiast product, as such it's going to sell very well in the market it's aimed at. The fact that there are no "official" 133 MHz AMD CPUs pretty much qualifies the previous statement.

Basically, what I'm saying is I agree with you, but disagree also. Yes, the performance increase in minimal, but these are hobbyists you're talking to. They'll spend $100 on something that a $5 doo-dad will do just as well.

NOTE: Telling the guys on this board, not to buy something because it's not worth it is like throwing down the gauntlet. Tons of them will rush out, and buy one with hopes of proving you wrong. :)