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Now that the VIA KT333 chipset has been released, we can begin to step back and see things from a distance.

There is little doubt that the KT333 chipset gives us a boost in performance. In fact, it was interesting to hear VIA almost talk down the KT333 chipset in lieu of another upcoming chipset. But with the results the way they are presented to us here, the KT333 chipset is a great solution for the Athlon processors.

Keep in mind that the majority of the increases in the speed can be seen in the office and content creation tests. There, the memory bus can be more actively utilized because the processor isn’t being maxed out nearly as much. The gaming tests saw less impressive results, but still were noticeable at the lower resolutions. Also note that you will probably have to have slightly better RAM, such as the Corsair PC2700, in order to meet the DDR333 standards on most motherboards.

As I mentioned above, the current bottleneck on the PC appears to be the processor itself. With memory and video card technology screaming onward, it would only make sense that AMD would be doing the same. Will we see 333 MHz or 400 MHz Athlons sooner than we think? It’s very possible, but I can’t confirm anything at this point.

If you are wondering if you should purchase a KT333 motherboard you must evaluate your situation. If you already own either an nForce or KT266A chipset motherboard, I would suggest waiting for a while. The speed increases are there, but not in any amount that I would claim merits an upgrade if you are already at that level. However, if you have been looking at upgrading to a KT266A or nForce board, I would definitely put KT333 at the top of your list.

And, finally, keep in mind that VIA is still broadening their horizons as far as products go. You can be sure that they are not sitting still on the KT333 chipset for very long, but that is the nature of the computer hardware business. The next chipset will probably have new features not yet seen on any Athlon chipset, but they are still some months away.

With that, I can only conclude that VIA has again created a great chipset for a great market segment. It may not be as revolutionary as the KT266A chipset was, but it definitely is the fastest Athlon DDR chipset available. What more needs to be said than that??

I’d like to thank Corsair Micro for the PC2700 DDR memory they supplied for the testing. Also, thanks to the guys at VIA and VIAArena for stopping by to see me.

And be sure to visit the AMD Forums to read more about the KT333 chipset and you can see the official Press Release there as well.

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