The platform we actually used for our tests was the VIA Apollo Pro 133A based ASUS P3V4X. One of the beauties of the 133A chipset is that it can run your memory bus at the FSB frequency minus the PCI bus frequency, which in the case of a 133MHz FSB – 33MHz PCI bus would result in a 100MHz operating frequency for your memory bus which is what the PC100 specification calls for.
With a feature like that, why would you possibly need memory that can run at 133MHz or beyond? Is the performance increase that significant?
There’s only one way to answer that question, let’s take a look at some benchmarks comparing a 100MHz memory bus to a 133MHz memory bus in the same exact system:
Even in Content Creation applications that are normally influenced very little by memory performance because of their dependency on a fast L2 cache are experiencing the PC133 craze as the CC Winstone 2000 scores indicate a 4% increase in performance just by switching to PC133 SDRAM.
Quake III experiences a 5% improvement in performance which is about the same performance increase you’d get from stepping up to the next processor speed in any current processor family (i.e. Pentium III 800 to 866).