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Underwhelming performance on VIA KT266 DDR Boards!

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Senior Member
Dec 19, 2000
Check out these reviews at Anandtech and TomsHardware.

We were all hoping that the KT266 would outperform the AMD 760. Unfortunately it looks like that is not the case. The AMD 760 is the better all around board. Really from these results it looks like there is no point waiting any longer. If you want to go DDR, you should hurry up and buy up an AMD 760 motherboard while supplies last. Either that or just stick with your PC133/150/166 memory and your KT133A motherboard because you get similar performance offered by the KT266 with DDR!

Am I the only one who feels DDR is just not living up to the hype surrounding it? Reminds me of another memory touted by a competing processor company. Starts with an 'R'? The company that designed it has a tendancy of going around suing every other company under the sun? You know what I'm talking about. ;-)

Looks like SDR PC133 memory is here to stay, at least for the near future.
hopefully bios updates will help the kt266's. I saw somewhere ( i think ocworkbench) where they had a bios update that got the sucker about par with the amd760 :) I guess we will know in a couple months. I really hope ddr is a success because I hate rambus with a passion. I would rather go back to my 386sx16 then buy anything from rambus :(
I can't believe that so many are surprised by another mediocre performing VIA chipset. All VIA chipset have been underwhelming. Just look at Intel platforms. Compared to the almost 3-year old BX chipset, all VIA efforts fall short.

After 3 tries with Athlon chipsets, the KT133A is the first that actually made it to decent performance. I've wondered since the first K7 CPUs came out when there would be a chipset that would fully exploit the power of these excellent processors. I'm still waiting. It's amazing how obviously inferior PIII Coppermines are able to match T-Bird performance in most common benchmarks. Only in those benchmarks which make direct use of the T-Bird's stronger FPU does the T-Bird really surpass the old PIII.

Anyway, the KT266 won't ever surpass the AMD 760 due to the extremely low latencies AMD was able to design in. You can't match those with a BIOS upgrade. So, if you're looking for a DDR mobo, go with an AMD 760 before they go out of production.
I read some of the reviews of DDR motherboards as well, and it looks to me like this really not yet a good time yet for a transition. The thing that gets me is that at 133FSB DDR obviously beats PC133, but then I have no good reports about overclocking DDR vs overclocking SDRAM.

Most DDR systems were only able to get to the 140s, whereas it is possible to get close to 160 with PC133SDRAM.

Now I have not seen any reviews that compare what's currently feasible - e.g. a TBird at 1.4GHz running at 143MHz with DDR vs the same TBird running at 1.4GHz at 158 with SDRAM.

I bet the performance will be very very close, yet the DDR platform requires investment into new RAM and the MoBo may be a bit more expensive as well.

May be the time for DDR will be right, once CAS2 becomes available.

I'm not especially surprised by the lack of performance. Well, I am...I would think that it would at LEAST perform AS WELL as the KT133a. I think the major problem is the only company out there that can create a chipset to match Intel is AMD and they refuse to do it. I'm really starting to worry that this will hurt AMD in the long run, but I am starting to consider just buying up an AMD 760 board just so I can run with a decent chipset. AMD boards are few and far between, but they all seem to be like diamonds hidden within the heaps of coal that are Via, SiS and ALi boards...

This also brings up an important point. All this time reviewers have been saying that "Pentium 3s cannot benefit from DDR memory". Seeing the poor performance of the Via KT266, maybe they had it wrong all along. Maybe the Via DDR boards just suck!
AS you all know , we are running on the bleeding edge here ,when you want the latest greatest , it means sometimes the product is not all it can be ,,like the KT133a,, it wasnt the first socket A chipset ,even from VIA! someone will get the DDR combo right ,and I'd be willing to bet Via is the one that eventually does, if not I will buy from whoever gets it right
I have faith in VIA's engineers, eventually the performance of these boards will rise..as did the k(*)133 chipsets did. Have you seen this review? DigitLife kt266 It seems there are many conflicting reviews of this board, i am waiting on Overclockers.com to review one of these boards before i make a decision, they are the only ones who i feel are unbiased+competent :p
I guess we'll have to wait and see... I'm starting to think that Nvidia and their Crush chipset(s) may be the savior of DDR memory. We all know that Nvidia can develop some quality products-- they are on top of the graphics world right now (even I won't argue that and I have an ATi card). Not only that, but they have experience working with DDR memory...

It wouldn't surprise me to see the Crush chipset hold the DDR performance crown. If it does, it looks like I may actually have to own an Nvidia product. All I can say is it better work with third party graphics cards (ATi, S3, 3dfx, etc.) and it had better NOT follow their recent pricing scheme...
Just converted from a very stable MSI 6195 Slot A Irongate system to the A7V133 M/B. Before I locked into the MSI M/B, I tried several Via 133 chipset boards & they were junk. My friend who builts computers recommended to me to get the MSI for stability issues. He was right.

My new Asus board is nice, but I have had to continue to tweak it. The Via Drivers are always being updated. If I had it to do again, I would have purchased a AMD chipset M/B just ensure I have better stability. There are rumors that the S/B Live card hurts my boards performance.

It is a struggle to choose the right combination. Intel, AMD, Via, ALI, & M/S are always in a conflict! Do I really need a 1GHz system? Probaly not, but it sure beats my AMD 450 setup.

Nvidia and VIA are at the pinnacle of engineering design..I expect in the years to come, these two companies will emerge as powerhouses that rival if not overtake all the other industry leaders in chips and chipsets. AMD could do very well in the mobo market if they dedicated themselves to it, but as it is now, VIA is the most creative chipset maker, and Nvidia seems to have the most talented engineers and are capable of delivering a plethora of cutting edge products.

Already the new BIOS's emerging for the KT266 boards are showing vast improvements, with some preliminary info from Abit that their boards are performing at AMD 761 levels. If i bought today looking for performance, i'd grab a 761, but being the patient man i am :) , i am waiting on at least 2 more KT266 boards to come out, and i might just wait for one of the Crush boards to come out, i have a lot of confidence in Nvidia. One thing's for sure..i am stockpiling this cheap-*** Micron DDR :p~