For VIA and their board partners the KT600 (while
an improvement on the older KT400/KT400A) is only competitive with nVIDIA's nForce2
in the 2D world. In anything memory intensive, or 3D, the VIA KT600 chipset
is simply no match for nForce2. Considering the Gigabyte GA-7VT600 1394 only
retails for $143 CDN ($102 US)
all can be forgiven.
The layout of the motherboard is excellent, Gigabyte obviously took a lot of
time and effort when laying out all the components. Having all the major
connectors to the right of the DIMM slots and all the header connections at the
bottom of the motherboard certainly makes things much easier for the end user.
Even if you're using longer PCI cards, there's nothing that will get in the
For those of you like to push your systems a bit more, you'll probably want
to get something else as the only way to modify the multiplier on the processor
is through DIP switches. As VIA have chosen not to implement AGP/PCI locking
within the KT600 chipset it's possible enthusiasts will be limited by other system
devices like we were with the Radeon 9700 Pro.
In terms of performance the Gigabyte GA-7VT600 1394 did
quite well in the 2D based benchmarks like SysMark2002 and the Winstone 2002 benchmarks, but in the 3D type benchmarks it did poorly. This is disappointing
considering the KT600 chipset is brand new and the nForce2 is about a year
old now. Hopefully as the KT600 matures, drivers will be able to
extract a bit more performance out of it. Looks like VIA has to go back
to the drawing board, the KT600 is not a worthy opponent to the nForce2.
you're in the market for a new motherboard for a workstation computer, or for at
home balancing the checkbook the Gigabyte GA-7VT600 1394 is a perfect option to build around.
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