I've said recently that the current Athlon XP platform is in the golden stage of its career. Mature, full featured chipsets, combined with readily available high speed memory modules and some truly fast end-of-range processors, make my statement ring true.
We've seen the recent introdution of VIA's KT600 chipset, supporting the newest Athlon XP's and perhaps more importantly, bringing it's southbridge workhorse up to date with current technology like Serial ATA. NVIDIA of course, have done the same. nForce2 Ultra 400 is their current 32-bit high performance chipset of choice, indeed AMD relied on the chipset to show off the range topping XP3200+ recently at its launch, and it didn't disappoint.
With support for 200MHz bus processors, FireWire, dual Ethernet, lots of USB2.0 and their famous TwinBank dual-channel memory controller, DASP and Dolby Digital hardware, the chipset as a host platform for a high performance desktop or workstation is the current AMD chipset du jour.
ASUS updated the already strong A7N8X with the new SPP bridge, I took a good look at that board recently and declared it excellent. Therefore it's entirely no surprise that other manufacturers have done the same with their products.
It's one such product that I'm looking at today. If you cast your mind back to my original Leadtek K7NCR18G Pro review, you'll notice it was a strong motherboard that I was quite taken with. It actually sat as my main system motherboard for a long time, such was its quality.
So Leadtek have done the same dance as ASUS, and we have an updated K7NCR18 product, a 'D' version with the SPP bridge rather than the 'G' monikered IGP version, to take a look at. With a Deluxe Limited twist.