The VIA Apollo KT266A chipset builds upon the earlier KT266
chipset and features tighter timings and deeper queues designed to increase memory and
system bus performance. The KT266A chipset supports up to 4GB of PC1600 or PC2100
DDR memory along with 200/266MHz FSB Athlon and Duron processors. Additionally,
the KT266A chipset provides native support for 4X AGP, ATA 33/66/100, six USB
ports and comes with integrated 6 channel AC-97 Audio, Modem, and networking
(though not often utilized).
The 552-pin BGA chip is accompanied by the VIA VT8233
south bridge and forms the basis for many of today's more performance oriented
When VIA first announced
their original DDR chipset, the KT266, the whole hardware community was gearing
up for quite an intense battle among the chipset makers. However, w
hen the KT266 chipset was eventually released, it was met with quite a bit
of disappointment. It was among the slowest chipsets around and it had
one glaring problem - when the bus speed exceeded 138 MHz, USB devices stopped working.
forwarding about 11 months and we now have the KT266A chipset, a new
and improved version of the older KT266. It's essentially the same chip design
as the KT266, but with a much improved memory controller. As you are about to
see, this seems to do wonders for performance.
Memory: Corsair PC2400 DDR (CM64SD256-2400C2)
Corsair are known for their performance oriented memory, and the
XP2000+ system uses two 256MB sticks of 300MHz CAS2 PC2400 DDR.
The Micron chips are model 46V16M8-75A and this should make for a very
good memory subsystem even though the Asus A7V266-E is only 'officially'
rated for PC2100.
- 256MB Modules (x2)
- 184 DIMM
- CAS 2.0
Hard Drive: IBM 40GB 7200RPM Deskstar
As the size of files continues to
increase, 40GB drives are about the minimum anyone building a new system should
be looking at.
The difference in performance between drives that are 5400RPM
and 7200RPM is pretty noticeable, especially if the older drive has a lot of platters, and
the 7200RPM drive only has one or two. The 40GB IBM Deskstar used on
the XP2000+ system uses two platters with four read heads capable of 8.5ms seek
times. The disk rotates at 7200RPM.
The hard drive uses a 2MB cache buffer and produces
3bels of noise while in operation.
If we're reading the tech data on this hard drive correctly is uses glass
media platters, ceramic spindle bearings and a tri-lamenate top cover helps
to reduce acoustic output.
Network Card: Allied Telesyn AT-2700TX 10/100
The Allied Telesyn 10/100 NIC is a PCI Fast
Ethernet adapter. With an auto-sensing RJ-45 port the card supports Microsoft's
latest standards; ACPI, OnNow, Magic Packet/Wake-On-LAN (WOL) and
DMI. The drivers are native to Windows XP so installation is a breeze. Retail
cost is a bit high though as Allied Telesyn sell the AT-2700TX for $60 - we've
never paid more than $30CDN for any NIC around here.
DVD-ROM: Pioneer 16X DVD-ROM
The ability to watch a DVD from your computer without
any flickering, jumping, or pixelation is necessity in this day and age. The
Pioneer DVD-ROM in the XP2000+ system is currently the fastest speed DVD drive
you can get on the market and it performed flawlessly during a test playback of
the Matrix. The general specs on the DVD-ROM drive are as follows:
-High-Speed Average Access Time: 85ms DVD-ROM, 85 ms CD-ROM
-Transfer Rate: 21,600 kB/s Max (DVD-ROM), 6000 kB/s Max (CD-ROM)
-Reads single and dual layer DVD-ROM/Video, DVD-R/RW, CD-ROM, Audio CDs,
CD-R/RW, Video CDs, Photo CDs, Hybrid CDs, CD-Extra (CD-Plus) and CD-Text Discs
-Horizontal or vertical mounting capabilities
Power supply: Antec 400W PP-412X
A good power supply is more than just high wattage
numbers and the right amount of Molex and system power connectors. While it is
important to get P4 compliant power supplies today with a good amount of
connectors for hard drives, CDROM's and what not, don't shop exclusively by