Ever since the nForce2 chipset was introduced late last year VIA has been a distant second to NVIDIA in the minds of Athlon XP enthusiasts. Since nForce2’s introduction NVIDIA has enjoyed increased profits and market share from their CPU chipset business. Ironically, NVIDIA’s traditionally rock solid grasp on the video chipset market has waned over the last nine months due to a combination of two factors; a severe lack of execution on the 0.13-micron process from foundry partner TSMC, and tough competition from ATI’s R300 line of products, which coincidentally became available just a few weeks before the first nForce2 motherboards started trickling into the channel late October of 2002. We wonder if ATI will be able to successfully penetrate the Socket A chipset business with a killer technology like nForce2; we’re sure NVIDIA will be watching that development quite closely.

Anyway, at long last we can take an in depth look at VIA’s final Socket A chipset, the KT600, which started shipping just under a couple of weeks ago. Today we bring you a review of one of the first motherboards based on VIA’s KT600 chipset, the Epox 8KRA2+. Epox has put together a very intriguing high-end Athlon XP motherboard that, contrary to the present pattern, is based on a single channel DDR memory controller. Read on to find out if the 8KRA2+ deserves to be in your next system...

UPDATED 7-1-2003

Epox 8KRA2+: Basic Features
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  • Anonymous User - Friday, July 25, 2003 - link

    What about stability? Does it perform better than Nforce2 400? same as KT400A does compared to Nforce2? Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, July 19, 2003 - link

    What about ECC memory support. A mobo that offers RAID w/o ECC is useless!.bh.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, July 18, 2003 - link

    You complain about the AGP/PCI bus being out of spec. It's a whole 2.5/pci and 5 mhz AGP out of spec. I don't know of any hardware that would have a problem at those speeds. You either ran out of headroom with the chip or the board just won't go past 215-220 or so. Hopefully you'll find out with other KT600 test boards. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, July 12, 2003 - link

    It's just strange because right after he says he still highly recommends the board, he goes on to suggest that people buy an Nforce2 board if they can afford it. I don't know why he would highly recommend a board with "mediocre" performance. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, July 12, 2003 - link

    I don't see why this board is still "highly recommended" after all the negative comments regarding the board. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, July 10, 2003 - link

    Guess some few points were missing in the review: Performance of integrated LAN, IDE and Audio. Remember that nForce2 has a very low CPU utilization in all these three groups. Also the comparison of Audio DSP, 3D sound, ... were missing. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, July 08, 2003 - link

    including the older kt400 series results would be nice... Reply
  • Zuni - Sunday, July 06, 2003 - link

    Almost every large website worldwide uses flash. Nba.com, cnet.com,zdnet.com etc almost every ad these days is in flash. Most of the larger sites use flash for navigation and other fancy effects. We're just using it for graphing :) Reply
  • Zuni - Sunday, July 06, 2003 - link

    Err smaller in size :) Reply
  • Zuni - Sunday, July 06, 2003 - link

    The reason they are in flash is bandwidth, they are over 50% small in size. We hear your feedback though. Reply

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