Less than one week has passed since we first reviewed, and passed judgment on VIA's KT266 chipset. For those of you that aren't familiar with the chipset, it is VIA's first Socket-A Chipset (Athlon/Duron) with support for DDR SDRAM. Based on the benchmarks that we ran, it was clear that the shipping version of one of the first KT266 motherboards, the MSI K7T266 Pro, was definitely sub par. The board performed so poorly in fact, that our KT133A test bed dwarfed it quite a few times, using regular PC133 SDRAM.
There was obviously quite a bit of confusion because there is no reason that the KT266 should've performed so poorly. Immediately after posting the article, we were contacted by MSI with an updated BIOS that was supposed to improve performance, and there were quite a few discussions present questioning what the real performance of the KT266 was.
In the process of testing with the new BIOS we discovered something quite interesting and unusual at the same time which could explain the varied performance of current boards as well as mean some very unfortunate realities for early adopters of the KT266 platform.