Gigabyte GA-7VT600 1394 VIA KT600 Motherboard Review
It's amazing how quickly a company
can rise and fall from grace in the computer industry. VIA were once
known for building inexpensive low end chipsets which were targeted towards the budget
market. When Intel released the 133 MHz based
Pentium 3 processors without a mainstream chipset, VIA saw an opportunity and
took advantage of it. The rest is history.
VIA are also
the only third party chipset manufacturer to rise to AMD's challenge and capture
dominance riding the highly successful Athlon processor. Even though VIA went
through countless revisions of chipsets (KT133 -> KT133A, KT266 -> KT266A) consumers
had no real alternative as there was nothing on the market that was
summer of 2002, nVIDIA launched the nForce2, and usurped VIA's position as
AMD market leader and for the first time in a long time VIA had to
play catchup. Playing catchup is something VIA is not very good at. Neither the KT400, or
KT400A was a match for the competition put up by nVidia.
regrouped and released the KT600 chipset to counter to the
eleven month old nForce2. Would VIA be able to regain the top spot in
the AMD world? We'll find out today as we test
the Gigabyte GA-7VT600 1394 motherboard, which obviously, uses the VIA KT600
GA-7VT600 has a retail price of just $143 CDN ($102 US) and comes with
on board 5.1 audio, Serial ATA/Serial ATA RAID, 10/100
LAN, IEEE 1394 and of course dual BIOS's. The GA-7VT600 can use any
200/266/333/400 MHz based Athlon processor and will handle up to a maximum of
3GB of PC1600/2100/2700/3200 DDR RAM.
The Gigabyte GA-7VT600 1394 is
a pretty big motherboard so you'd better have a roomy case. The general layout
of the board is excellent, the main IDE/floppy drive and ATX power connectors
are in their most ideal location to the right of the DIMM slots. All the headers
are place at the bottom of the motherboard which makes attaching the headers
much easier as all the cables will be out of the way.