Clash of the KT266A Titans!

Article Index

Clash of the KT266A Titans! - Page 6

Clash of the KT266A Titans!
Motherboards from Abit, Asus, Soyo and MSI Do Battle!

By, Marco Chiappetta
December 13, 2001

We also used the synthetic Processor, Multimedia, Memory Bandwidth and File System benchmarks built into SiSoft Sandra 001.

Performance Comparisons
Synthetic Numbers With Sandra...


As expected, all of the motherboards tested performed at virtually the exact level.  If you run Sandra's CPU test repeatedly, the numbers will fluctuate slightly each time.  With this test, you cannot say that any board was actually "faster" than another. 

We saw more of the same in the Multimedia tests.  The numbers are so close that no one board holds a clear performance advantage over another.  Something that must be mentioned is that the Asus A7V266-E, by default, is more aggressively clocked than the other boards.  While Sandra reported the other boards to be operating at 1533MHz. (plus or minus 1MHz or 2), the A7V266-E reported the CPU speed at 1541MHz.  This small clockspeed increase explained why the A7V266-E consistently tested slightly faster than the other boards in the round-up.

Before you see these memory scores and say, "Hey!  Those are way to high!", let us explain something.  The latest version of Sandra has an updated memory bandwidth test that now utilizes the data pre-fetch and MMX/SSE/SSE2 instructions available in today's modern processors.  These scores are probably around double what you're used to seeing, but they should be more indicative of "real world" performance.  The new test still shows P4 / RDRAM equipped systems dominating, but the gap between them and Athlon / DDR systems is much smaller.  For a better explanation of what SiSoft has done, check out the FAQ on their site.

As we mentioned earlier, we entered the system BIOS and set each board to their "Default High Performance" settings, and then we set the memory to CAS 2, 1T, with 4-Way bank interleaving, and these are the scores we achieved.  The Soyo K7-DRAGON+ was the clear winner, with MSI's K7T266 Pro 2 once again lagging slightly behind the others.  Keep in mind though, there are quite a few other "tweakable" memory settings in the system BIOS that could change these scores significantly. 

We found something very interesting when testing the RAID 0 performance on each of these boards as well.  The Abit KR7A-RAID, outperformed all three of the other boards tested by about 10% using the exact same 7200RPM UDMA/100 IBM hard drives.  The Asus, Soyo and MSI boards all used an ATA100 capable Promise 20265 controller, while the Abit board used an ATA133 capable High-Point Tech. 372 controller.  It seems that High-Point Tech. has done a good job with their newer parts and now hold a measurable performance lead.  A year ago, the tables were turned...

The Stones and Our Conclusion


Tags:  ita, Titan, Titans, K

Related content