Another day, another KT600 motherboard. If you read our Epox 8KRA2+ review, you would recall that KT600 motherboards were not going to be any faster than nForce2 Ultra 400 motherboards. While this is only the second KT600 motherboard that we’ve reviewed here at AnandTech, our staff in Los Angeles is currently working with me on several other KT600 motherboards that show a bit more promise as potential “nForce2-killers”. Only more testing can verify whether or not this turns out to be true with initial KT600 BIOSes, but there is some potential.

It’s unfortunate that VIA has come so far in the Socket A market only to be leapfrogged suddenly by NVIDIA late last year with the arrival of nForce2. VIA has certainly fallen on some hard times, whether it was their legal troubles with Intel (one of them regarding an 800MHz FSB license), NVIDIA’s nForce2 chipset, or the slow economy. VIA certainly hasn’t been what you would call a leader in their traditionally strong market (CPU chipsets). VIA has picked up some market share in strictly budget PCs with their low-power C3 processors and their derivatives. But that certainly won’t propel VIA to substantial profitability or market share, especially considering AMD and Intel’s considerable in-house manufacturing and R&D edge in PC processors.

At any rate, VIA is attempting to get back into the Socket A market with their latest chipset, dubbed KT600, in hopes of taking back the mainstream and enthusiast crown, and hopefully any other Socket A market share that’s left. Today, we look at Gigabyte’s implementation of the KT600 to see if they have a winner on their hands or if it’ll be the same old story. Read on to find out…

Gigabyte 7VT600 1394: Basic Features
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  • Anonymous User - Saturday, August 02, 2003 - link

    I don't get why people blame VIA for the SBlive issue when pretty much every other companies sound cards work flawlessly. Face it, VIA or Nforce you're gonna have issues with your SBlive. Right now on my "NFORCE2" the stupid control panel keeps crashing out on me and sometimes retarded sound has this annoying occational reverb crap which updating drivers seems to not fix. Man, if they didn't have the best gaming sound card i'd drop creative products in a heartbeat. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - link

    This guy read my mind!, all VIA chipsets I ever had were plagged with errors, KT133, KT133A and KT266A, this one stills make noices with the SB live!, no mather the filter installed. Never again VIA!, nVidia did a better first try with the nforce1 than VIA with the 3tr KT chipset. Reply
  • Locutus4657 - Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - link

    I'm not sure if I'll ever buy another VIA chipset again. Ever since I checked their developers white pages on my KT133 chipset and found out it has over 200 pages of Errata. My next system will be either an nForce 2 system of a Operton system. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, July 28, 2003 - link

    2 Things I wanted to say.
    Good rather unbiased review, except that I dont really a gree that the KT600 is a value board. if people were interesting in SERIOUS value they (if they knew what they were doing, sadly most people out for a cheap computer wont) would still go with a NForce2 motherboard because you get a Geforce 4mx built in! I mean computer shops will probably sell the KT600 with the cheapest video card you can get and the end consumer would of been WAY better off having a geforce4mx built in. I mean at least you can taste even the latest games with gfmx4...which is really important.


    Secondly I can't express how disgusted I am in the MB makers that reck the Nforce2s reputation for good sound via the MCP-T sound storm technology by putting these crap realtek chips infront of them and ruining the sound quality of the nforce2 MBs, as far as I am concerned this should almost be illegal!
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, July 27, 2003 - link

    Ok review, but would have been better with a few backplate shots and memory bandwidth benchmarks. Reply
  • ViRGE - Sunday, July 27, 2003 - link

    It's worth noting that audio port switching isn't all it's cracked up to be. Nvidia for example, discourages the practice, which is why you won't find a SoundStorm board that uses it, even if most are using the 655 codec. This is all of course because it results in poorer sound quality(or so Nvidia claims), so in a sense, you're worse off with the 655 than you are with the 650, although with anything Realtek, you're doing worse than the reference(SigmaTel/VIA) solution. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, July 27, 2003 - link

    Poor VIA, cmon Dawgs Reply
  • Dennis Travis - Sunday, July 27, 2003 - link

    Very good review Evan as usuall. Thanks!! Reply
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, July 27, 2003 - link

    Ya know, if via would fix their stupid drivers packaging problems, they would do much better, at least as far as i'm concerned. I don't care if one size fits all, I just want to run the package for the product and have it remove the old and install the new and get it right. I'll never waste my time fooling around with their stuff until I've heard that's been fixed. Reply

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