This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.There is no question that the benchmarks illustrated by both systems, represent some inspiring results. The question, does the performance of the A7M266 portray a compelling reason to replace your motherboard, memory, and CPU? Much of what you hear regarding this newer technology is marketing propaganda. For example, SDRAM manufacturers are naming their memory after the peak bandwidth, not bus frequency. PC1600 DDR SDRAM is really PC100 DDR SDRAM, because the 100MHz bus transfers two bits of data per wire per clock (double data rate), which yields 1600MB (1.6GB) per second over a 64-bit bus (eight bits per byte). PC2100 is really PC133 DDR SDRAM because 133MHz multiplied by two bits per clock multiplied by eight bytes equals 2100MB (2.1GB) per second. PC1600 and PC2100 coincidently sound more inspiring than PC100 or PC133.
Not withstanding the undistinguishable results over it predecessor, Asus’ A7M266 still represents an optimistic step forward. While there was controversy regarding the longevity of the A7M266, sources close to AMDMB confirm that the A7M266 will live and breathe for quite some time. However, the A7M266 may slowly concede to its flexible and cost effective counterpart, A7A266 or ALi MAGiK 1-based motherboard. The A7M266 is however, a high-quality and very capable motherboard capable of sporting the newest technology. If your last name happens to be Rockefeller or Forbes, you wont be disappointed. For the rest of the penny-pinching public, the cost associated with a full upgrade to an AMD 761-based rig will set you back approximately five to seven hundred dollars, for only a few frames per second. I would have liked Asus to retain the integrated Ethernet connection, for it would have further differentiated itself from the rest of the current AMD 760-based motherboards. From a cost perspective, with the omission of the USB midboard, and the Audio Modem Riser (AMR) slot, Asus would have been able to retain the significant Ethernet option.
Stability of the A7M266 was consistent with it predecessors. The only obstacle was during one Expendable time demo, the system “crashed” with a bleu screen. The message though perplexing, reflected a problem with either the video memory or system RAM. Because of this single incident, I can only surmise that the “crash” was due partly to the game settings; which were 1920X1440 at 32-bit colour. Therefore, this idiosyncrasy should not be interpreted as grounds for alarm with regard to stability. If any of you are considering the A7M266 for its Ipanel support, think again. Without the infamous “resistor implementation”, the chances of your system booting is zip. Even with the resistor implementation, I question the stability, with regard to system functionality and general business application usage. Actually, since using the Ipanel, MS Word and Excel have exhibited many abnormalities such as lockups and the inability to open multiple windows of Word or Excel.
If you are a new user or simply a defector from the “other side” (Intel), the A7M266/DDR solution may be a feasible consideration. If you are part of the majority that currently enjoys one of the many KT133-based solutions, this may be a difficult and expensive contemplation. If you are the latter of the two, you may contemplate waiting for this new and somewhat undeveloped technology to stabilize or perhaps evolve into its next manifestation, which is AMD’s 770 chipset with dual processor support.