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This KT600 motherboard roundup depends less on motherboard performance than it does on features. Looking back at the benchmarks, there are very few cases where a particular motherboard stands out as being noticeably slower or faster than the other boards. The Abit KV7 and the Asus A7V600 did tend to come out on top in most benchmarks, but the variance was not higher than 5-6% most of the time.

VIA KT600 Motherboard Roundup - Motherboards 76

As we have been seeing over the past year, the differences in motherboard performance are slowly leveling out on boards of the same chipset. The main factors in choosing a motherboard are changing over to features, price and functionality – will the board just work? Brands that are enthusiast favorites tend to be the ones with the least amount of technical problems, where they just work out of the box.

Where do these tested motherboards stand on these variables? On the features side of things, there are a couple boards that stand out. The MSI K6 Delta motherboard includes a lot of features for enthusiasts and some good overclocking options. The AOpen AK77-600 MAX also had a comparable feature set. The Asus A7V600 and Gigabyte 7VT600 get props here as well.

When it comes to price, they can be seen to be all over the board. Here is a list of current prices:

KT600 Board Prices
Abit KV7 $82
AOpen AK77-600 MAX $126
Asus A7V600 $79
Azza KT600-ALX N/A
Epox 8KRA2+ $80
Gigabyte 7VT600 $69
MSI KT6 Delta $144
Soltek KT600-R $78
Soyo KT600 Dragon $165

This goes to show that if you want a lot of features, you are going to have to pay for them. The AOpen, MSI and Soyo boards do offer you the most in terms of optional goodies, but they are the only ones coming in over $100 — much over. On the other hand, you can find some good bargains with the Gigabyte board (no Firewire) and Soltek boards. I am surprised to see the Asus board down there with them in price as well. Don’t even bother trying to find the Azza board…

Finally, looking for a board that “just works” is probably one of the harder tasks for a buyer to accomplish as it isn’t something you’ll find listed on a box cover anywhere. In our tests, the MSI KT6 Delta, AOpen AK77-600 and Soyo KT600 Dragon all had about the same level of stability and memory compatibility compared to the other boards.

Overall, the KT600 chipset is a welcome addition to the current Athlon XP line of chipsets. With the additional value of the included Serial ATA and RAID support as well as finally having support for the 400 MHz FSB Athlon XP 3200+ processor, VIA may have a success on their hands. However, it isn’t all roses for them quite yet. The memory problems we have discussed are easily an effect of the chipset itself, and whether or not the manufacturers can keep stability high will decide if enthusiasts will grab up the board. And, not to mention, the Athlon XP line of processors does have a time limit to its life now, and the chances of VIA making it big with the KT600 diminish with each passing month.

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