Conclusions to be drawn…

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The race for the best performing KT400 motherboard is a close and contested one. While the Abit AT7-MAX2 stands out amongst the crowd, the distance of its leads in the benchmarks is not considerable enough to label it as the end-all king of the KT400 world. The Soyo Dragon KT400 did very well in a lot of the benchmarks and had an equally appealing feature set to couple with it. In order to pick the motherboard that is going to be right for you, you really need to look at the features and board layouts to see what fits your style. If you are an overclocker, then getting a board with the ability to adjust the multiplier without modifying the processor is going to be a good choice. Just need a simple motherboard that is going to be low cost and have basic features? There are a few options for you too look at in that arena as well.

As for pricing, I will not be listing prices in this article and using them as an evaluation point. The boards are still very new and coming to market, making many of them overly priced with a period of a month or so needed before they level out the points that they should be at. You can notice this happening as well on the nForce2 motherboards.

Interestingly, there is a small, noticeable difference between the first and last placed motherboards on most of the benchmarks. There seems to be a “stepping” pattern of sorts that has the KT400 motherboards more spaced out than we saw in our KT333 roundup. This is due to the fact that the KT400 chipset has a much more complicated memory setup and timings structure that was necessary for the (still unofficial) DDR400 memory support. I have a feeling that over time and with enough bios revisions and upgrades, the majority of the KT400 motherboards that we have looked at here today will have a much more level performance balance.

As we showed in this article, there are several KT400 motherboards that have a considerable feature set that any PC user would be glad to have. From USB 2.0 to FireWire and Serial ATA to lighted fans, there is something for everybody here. If all you need is a basic board then the Soltek motherboard looks to be a good solution for you. The cost will be lower than those boards with the extra features, as well.

There have been lots of rumors of newer revisions of the KT400 chipset, but I haven’t seen any indication of them here. All the boards we have reviewed seem to come from the same output of chipsets and are all performing about the same. The advent of a KT400A chipset is something that you can expect to see, just not as soon as some of us would have liked. VIA is in an interesting spot where they for the first time are not the fastest Athlon chipset available, and they will be trying to fix that. By the time Barton processors roll around, I would expect us to have a nice little assortment of KT400A boards here at Amdmb.com for another roundup.

Perhaps we’ll get some more information on this as we peruse through this year’s Comdex. Be sure to check out Amdmb.com for all the latest coverage.

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