This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.It is obvious to me now that the KT400 chipset has an issue that affects only certain gaming situations. The common ground that I am seeing here is a Radeon 9700 Pro video card using 8x AGP and on OpenGL graphics programs. Why it’s only this particular API is beyond my current testing. I am currently inquiring to all companies involved (ATI, VIA, NVIDIA) about what is the cause behind the problem and how and when it will be fixed, if ever.
It’s interesting to note that the KT333 chipset does not have this problem, as it does not use an 8x AGP bus. The KT333 motherboards that we tested with the Radeon 9700 Pro showed results that were very close to that of the nForce2 results shown here. That means for OpenGL programs, the KT333 chipset is faster than the KT400. But, that is not the case for the majority of the other benchmarks.
My next step would be to test the KT400 chipset motherboards using the Radeon 9700 Pro on a 4x AGP bus, but due to AGP 3.0 specs, I am told that this isn’t possible – at least not yet. I am trying to get some custom bios’ made for a further investigative look.
What does this mean for your current or future motherboard purchases? In all honesty, it shouldn’t really change a whole lot. The problems that I am seeing are restricted to a very small portion of the use of a computer: OpenGL based games. The problem only noticeably occurs at very low resolutions, but if you are using a Radeon 9700 Pro, hopefully you won’t be running at 640×480 to game. The KT400 and nForce2 chipset are still very competitive with each other, and have a lot of great features.
The rumors of a KT400A chipset are probably right on the money, but whether or not the main reason for the modification is going to be to solve this problem, I am not sure. But, if there is a bandwidth or throughput issue based on the use of the 8x AGP bus, I am sure VIA will rectify it before any future releases.
We will be taking a look at a whole bunch of KT400 motherboards in the next week, and I should have a roundup of 7 or 8 of the boards up before Comdex 2002 rolls around. So, be sure to check back for those here at Amdmb.com. And keeping use those AMD Forums!
If you are looking for prices on KT400 boards, check on the Amdmb.com Pricegrabber service.