We decided to upgrade our main AMD test system, to the new VIA based KT266A motherboard. The advantage of us doing this is that we can see what YOU can get when this board finally hits the shelves. We have to say if you are planning to upgrade soon do not buy a new motherboard until this one hits the shelves.
This chipset is now one of our favorites. It is a lot faster than the predecessor and it has other enhancements such as the higher memory bandwidth and also the increased stability meaning this is a chipset to watch. Our board was the EPoX 8KHA+ which should hit the stores in quantity in around 2 weeks. We have also adopted the Abit range of graphics card as our main testing card as it is the latest version of the Geforce 3 out, and it performs up there with the Ti range. We will be moving to the Ti range when we can get a set of the cards [so we can all run them.].
This standardization is showing you guys what you can buy and use on the market and we aren’t going to go out and use kit which you can’t get. We have also taken the move to standardize on Crucial memory, based on the Micron chips. This memory is the best memory in the world in our eyes, we haven't had any of these come to us faulty, or even heard anyone who has had any problems with this memory.
From the moment I installed this CPU in to the test system I was expecting a lot. I had heard all the chat from AMD about its power and speed, but I wanted to check this out for myself. I built the system, and decided to install Windows XP on it; this meant that we would be using the latest of everything in our labs. I installed XP in the same usual way that we do, and rebooted, the system booted to the desktop in under 15 seconds from POST. This is VERY impressive and I know it isn’t a *real* benchmark, but first impressions count.
For the initial review of this product we are going to do a comparison of the P4 2Ghz, 1800XP CPU, and the 1Ghz Morgan Duron, all of the top end CPUs which you can get on the market at the moment. The 1800 and the 1Ghz will be tested on the DDR KT266A platform, and the 2Ghz P4 will be tested on an Abit TH7 II with Rambus. Everything else will be kept constant bar the motherboard/CPU combo.