It’s been several weeks since the VIA KT600 chipset for Athlon CPU’s began shipping, and the market has changed direction very quickly. We are no longer seeing reviews asking if the KT600 can beat nForce2 Ultra 400 – the consensus now seems to be that nForce2 Ultra 400 will remain the performance leader barring a major surprise. KT600 seems to have quickly settled into the "value chip" category, which is really amazing when you consider the feature set that is potentially available in the VIA design.

Due to the limitations of the Athlon architecture, there is no inherent reason why a dual-channel chipset would be the performance leader on the AMD Athlon platform. We have known this in theory since the original nForce made its appearance, but we have recently seen, with the single-channel nForce2 400, that single-channel can indeed compete effectively with the dual-channel nForce2 Ultra 400 in most performance areas. When we consider that nForce2 Ultra was designed to be a "value" chipset by NVIDIA, we can only wonder what a single-channel chipset, designed for top performance, could really do on the Athlon. This is a question, however, that we will probably never see answered in the marketplace. With Athlon64, a new socket, and a new Architecture due to debut next month, we do not expect to see new and improved solutions for Socket A Athlons.

So we are left with the very pleasant feature-rich VIA KT600 chipset that will likely not get the attention it otherwise deserves because it is not the single-channel chipset to finally compete with nForce2. In our testing, the KT600 is a solid, trouble-free chipset that is likely one of the best ever produced by VIA. The feature set is as excellent and contemporary – even to SATA RAID – as you could possibly want. But it is not the performance equal of nForce2 Ultra 400, and will likely get dismissed by shoppers.

It is in this climate that we take a look at a full-featured KT600 from one of the major players in the motherboard market. The ASUS A7V600 is loaded with features, and yet we see it selling in the "value" $70 to $100 price range. So do the features of the A7V600 make this the KT600 board to own?

ASUS A7V600: Basic Features
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  • unclefreaky - Tuesday, March 30, 2004 - link

    on your asus a7v600 review and testing what where all the bios settings on it. i have one and a radeon 9800pro and it will not run it beeps and no boot i can get to bios but not to windows ive trie everything with no luck and tried other videocards but no luck unless they run at 4x agp

    im not the only person with this issue and it would help out greatly if you could provide those bois settings we get no reply from asus tech and ati and via havent suggested anything helpful

    please help the world and i on this issue
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 29, 2003 - link

    Somebody asked who uses these motherboards. Well, I've got the Asus A7V600 and until now I haven't seen any motive to feel bad about it. I've read some articles, all of them say the board has a poor performance. 'It's very disappointing' it's said. So, I went to see the benchmarks' results and the difference between the best scores (Nforce 2 based boards included) and the Asus board. I've found it's usually less than 5/6%. Does anybody really notice the difference when running any application or game? What about stability? Isn't there any kind of score for stability? If my system crashes I'll certainly notice. And I haven't had any crash till now, even with my Barton 2500+ running at 2.2 GHz. By the way, in Portugal, Asus A7V600 costs about 30% less than Asus A7N8X Deluxe and about 40% less than MSI KT6 Delta. And the Oscar goes to... Reply
  • sprockkets - Monday, August 25, 2003 - link

    Whoops on the post. According to the instructions, you setup raid on the built in bios for it by via.

    According to Intel, kernel 2.4.20 has built in support for SATA drives, at least for their 865 chipset, but should work fine for VIA.
    Reply
  • sprockkets - Monday, August 25, 2003 - link

    Reply
  • KF - Friday, August 22, 2003 - link

    If Windows can use any HD without a HD controller driver, it is a new one on me. Same for linux. This goes for SCSI as well as IDE. What Windows can do is use a driver that is built in, and some common controllers (like VIA, SIS, Nvidia)emulate a basic old HD controller that goes way back, although to get higher performance the manufacturers provide other drivers. Adaptec, Promise and Highpoint need unique drivers even for their straight HD controllers, let alone the RAID versions, although Windows XP at least has lots of drivers for these. I believe linux is the same. That would make all HD controllers "just typical cheap Taiwanese software based crap."

    These mobo reviews virtually never check to see if the RAID works even in Windows. No one knows for sure what functions are done in software; people are just guessing or assuming. In general, manufacturers only provide drivers for Windows based systems, and some individual has to write a driver for linux.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - link

    SuSE linux like windows should be able to raid it without hardware support, though can't say for sure? Reply
  • Anonymous User - Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - link

    Is the Serial RAID hardware or software based? I mean can I configure it via BIOS and install some odd OS like Linux or SCO unix that will just see 1 hard drive and have it work and copy the data to the second drive like real hardware raid? or is this just typical cheap taiwanese software based crap?
    And also you say its value based but what happens when I pair this up with a geforce video card? wouldn't any possible saving of money disappear into that to the point I would of been better off with a Nforce2 and get the extra performance to boot. When you claim/think about a value based PC's you gotta look at the overall picture of the machine you are building.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - link

    Jeff, stop posting, it's already known fact that Gigabyte's nForce2 U400 and other U400 motherboards perform exactly the same as Epox and ASUS's boards. Your request is useless, waste's Anandtech's time, and is getting old quite frankly. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - link

    #10 has a very good point. I suggest skipping the "tags" instead to make room for some real information. The ones like "Purple, Practical, AND Performance!" feels a little bit like the cheesy article tags over at Toms Hardware. Though theirs are probably unbeatable due to the sometimes apparent language translation factor. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Monday, August 18, 2003 - link

    just a minor request - please put the chipset somewhere in the review title like you guys used to - it makes searching through old reviews MUCH easier (ie searching for all KT600 reviews) Reply

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