KT266 vs KT266A – Revolutionary or Evolutionary?

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Summary

So what did I find out? Was I correct on my estimate of a range between 3~6% for the VIA KT266A over a KT266? I’d say I was right on the money, which means if you read a number of other KT266A tests and really look hard at the results, the other sites on an average did pretty good and we are pretty much in agreement. You just have to ignore a few test results that are obviously poorly done.

Does the KT266A offer enough performance improvement to either replace your existing KT266, or even an AMD 761 based mainboard? I would say no way. The same goes for those of you that bought a KT266 based mainboard and are now kicking yourself for not waiting – the difference is so minimal in most cases that I would not even worry about it.

Does the KT266A solve the USB issues when overclocking the SysClk? Very definitely, and if that is a major concern of yours, then you might want to think of going with a KT266A based mainboard.

Is the KT266A really so different that it should be called a different version of the chipset? From what I’ve seen I’d say no, it really is just a minor stepping level change. Ignore the market hype and see it for what it is, not what some may want you to believe it is, and don’t expect too much from it.

You may have read some of the above and come away with the feeling that I’m giving the KT266A a negative review, which I am definitely not doing. I feel it is a worthwhile improvement over the KT266, and congratulate VIA for paying attention to the market and continuing to improve what was already a great product. Just don’t expect too much from it and accept it for what it is – a stepping level update of the chipset with slightly better memory performance. That results in a minor increase in overall real world system performance along with the ability to use the USB ports at high overclocking SysClk speeds.


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