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View Full Version : VIA KT400A vs NVIDIA NForce2


elvis
03-11-2003, 05:28 AM
3DSMax 5 render tests:
http://www.anandtech.com/chipsets/showdoc.html?i=1796&p=10

and over the page maya and lightwave tests:
http://www.anandtech.com/chipsets/showdoc.html?i=1796&p=11

keep in mind this is a reference board being tested, and not a final production board that will include extra features and tweaks from various manufacturers.

given that the nforce2 is 5 months old already, the kt400a isn't impressive in taht it's not a nforce2 beater. still, it manages to keep up in renders despite not having the dual-channel DDR that was originally advertised. other tests are within 1% to 2% of the neforce2. i guess the telling factor will be how cheap/expensive the retail boards will be.

unless of course you're madmax, then you wouldn't even touch via anyway. :p *poke* *prod* ;)

GregHess
03-11-2003, 03:28 PM
Unfortuantly the KT400A has not pledged 400 FSB Barton support. Its supposed frequencies are 266 and 333, and as of right now, it won't support the upcoming new chips.

Nvidia on the other hand, has stated that ALL Nforce2 boards will support the 400 FSB Bartons.

As of right now, I'd avoid any Via products if your planning on upgrading the cpu within the next few months to a 400 FSB barton.

alphatron
03-11-2003, 03:48 PM
400 FSB sounds mighty nice.. too bad I JUST bought a 2700+ and 333mhz RAM :(

Sieb
03-12-2003, 02:31 AM
I think KT400A will support 400fsb, they are just now hitting the reveiw blocks. I would prefer an Nforce2 board though, Abit and Asus seem to get good marks on theirs. But since I have become committed to a cube, I have stopped paying alot of attention for the moment. At least until the spring lineup shows up so I can do a review to update our system lineup.

GregHess
03-12-2003, 03:48 AM
Sieb,

I'm waiting for Via to annouce support. The KT333 has 333 in the name, but many of the boards don't support 333 FSB.

When I see "guarenteed to run at 400 FSB" then I'll revert my post.

MadMax
03-12-2003, 05:14 AM
You are receiving this automated response because the name MadMax was deteted in association with or in the same thread as the word VIA.


VIA SUCKS!

dvornik
03-12-2003, 05:21 AM
I've had MUCH less problems with VIA than with AMD, Intel and Nvidia. And those problems were FIXED in a reasonable timeframe.

elvis
03-12-2003, 06:55 AM
Originally posted by GregHess
Unfortuantly the KT400A has not pledged 400 FSB Barton support.
i'm not sure if via are trying to cut production costs, or their marketing people are just plain smoking crack, but they really are making some weird technology decisions of late.

OEM distributors aside, most people buying a motherboard will look at the long-term upgradeability of a system. some high-end video cards aside, typically the motherboard is the most expensive thing in a box, and usually the most painful to replace in terms of system configuration and rebuild (both hardware and software). again, something as simple as the lack of 400FSB support (especially in a second revision board) is really just a plain out dumb decision.

who knows? maybe they've got some super hardware around the corner? VIA certainly have been open about their up-coming K8 (hammer/opteron) support, so maybe they're just biding their time until then? :shrug:

elvis
03-12-2003, 06:56 AM
Originally posted by MadMax
You are receiving this automated response because the name MadMax was deteted in association with or in the same thread as the word VIA.


VIA SUCKS!
*elvis giggles like a cheerleader* :)

GregHess
03-12-2003, 11:49 AM
http://www.sis.com/news/press/748.htm

Sis just announced support of the 400 FSB. I wonder why via hasn't yet.

alphatron
03-12-2003, 11:52 AM
Is Nvidia currently the only provider of DCDDR solutions for the AMD platform?

GregHess
03-12-2003, 12:21 PM
Thats correct Alphatron.

The other competitors debate is that DC-DDR isn't necessary for Athlons, as the FSB is only running at 333 megahertz (2.7 Gb/sec). PC2700 provides 2.7 gb/sec of bandwidth while DC-DDR provides a whopping 4.2 gb/sec.

The debate is, does a FSB with a maxmium of 2.7 gb/sec bandwidth really require 4.2 gb/sec of memory bandwidth, when it can't really utilize it?

Then of course, when AMD bumps the proc's to 400 FSB (3.2 gb/sec), the DC-DDR boards will start showing higher scores.

(Unless the other owners of boards like the KT400A purchase PC3200 DDR (3.2 gb/sec)....one of the big reasons why I always recommend buying more then you need is this situation. If you went cheap, and just got PC2700 DDR, later you'll have to get PC3200 DDR if you want to make use of the higher FSB chips.)

Here's a link to that old "BANDWIDTH" post with a variety of THEORETICAL MAXIMUMS for FSB's/RAM.

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=29687&highlight=bandwidth

CgFX
03-12-2003, 02:35 PM
Elvis,

Greg is right on his comments.

Put it this way, if VIA was able to make 400 MHz FSB work on KT400A they would have. It is clear that it is broken and that it will never support it. They will need a new chipset to get there.

To expand on Greg's bandwidth comment, don't forget about the fact that the CPU isn't the only thing using the memory bus. 6.4 GB/sec DC DDR allows you to address the fact that you have 2 GB/s of AGP badwidth, up to 3.2 GB/s of processor bandwidth, and all the I/O of the southbridge. With nForce2 the southbridge is connected via 800MB/s of bandwidth. Via's is at 533 MB/s (I believe).

While most benchmarks are showing a difference of about 5% or less in favor of the nforce2, there are many total-system demanding benchmarks that push that lead much higher.

My biggest issue with VIA is that they fight to always be first to market with something (e.g. AGP 4x/8x) and that is almost always at the expense of a broken implementation.

GregHess
03-12-2003, 02:38 PM
My biggest issue with VIA is that they fight to always be first to market with something (e.g. AGP 4x/8x) and that is almost always at the expense of a broken implementation.

This also tends to be the reason behind (A) revisions of their chipsets.

The version without the A is the inital release, the version with the A (KT400A for example) is the one with the bugfixes.

MadMax
03-12-2003, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by GregHess
sis just announced support of the 400 FSB. I wonder why via hasn't yet.


VIA is still trying to reverse engineer nVidia's implementation.

and in related news, VIA today announced the KN400 chipset to go with AMD's press release of the launch of their Athlon XP-M mobile processor.

Expect a VIA KN400A chipset in a few months.

Sieb
03-12-2003, 05:06 PM
Greg, sorry, didn't notice you mentioned KT400A in your first post, I was thinking just 400, hehe.. I agree with you though, although I was holding out to see some exact info show up. VIA has always had issues, they are no where near the dependability of Intel chipssets (ie. the good old SBLive and VIA issues of past that never got resolved through two chipsets of each component).

From my perspective, I think VIA is either not all that interested in a 400fsb (not being THAT big of a jump from 333), or, they are sitting on their hands till the real 400fsb Bartons show up. I say that because AMD was reluctant to launch them as straight up 400 chips, and are just now mentioning that they will indeed come. Unfortunetly, VIA is one of the bigger AMD chipset makers, I never trust the smaller ones as much unless I find a good set of reveiws. I also think VIA might be feeling some heat from Nforce2. I dont know, VIA is weird...

FreeQ
03-13-2003, 01:05 AM
Know VIA, No Peace.
No VIA, Know Peace.


BTW, There is no chipset which I totally prefer :[
Southbridge design is God of crap all of them. :[

elvis
03-13-2003, 03:31 AM
Originally posted by MadMax
VIA is still trying to reverse engineer nVidia's implementation.
ouch! :)

GregHess
03-19-2003, 05:17 PM
To put a nice cap on this discussion...

http://www.digitimes.com/NewsShow/Article3.asp?datePublish=2003/03/19&pages=04&seq=21

and a direct quote for those who don't like to click...

"Following the recent launch of its K7-based KT400A chipset, VIA is planning to release one more product, the KT600, for the AMD platform in May. According to sources, the KT600 (codenamed KT400A-CE) is pin-to-pin compatible with the KT400A (codenamed KT400A-CD), but is designed to support a 400MHz FSB. The KT400A only supports a 333MHz FSB.

So anyone planning on buying via, and upgrading to a 400 FSB chip, will need to wait for the KT600 to arrive.

Quick reminder...the nforce2 boards support the 400 FSB bartons currently.

elvis
03-19-2003, 10:12 PM
i don't think i will be looking at a via solution again until my athlon64 upgrade post-christmas, unless they can pull something amazing out between then and now.

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