Faster XP platforms: Don't leave home without one

We conducted our original Athlon XP review using one of the first publicly available motherboards based on VIA's KT266A chipset: the EPoX 8KHA+. If you're considering an upgrade to the Athlon XP we'd strongly recommend against it unless you already have a fast platform. With KT266A motherboards selling for at or below the $100 mark, there's very little reason to not upgrade an aging KT133A to a faster DDR platform first before considering a CPU upgrade. The fact that DDR SDRAM is also so very cheap helps lighten the load on your wallet when upgrading.

Our test platform, the EPoX 8KHA+ hasn't changed in this review either. As we proved in our initial KT266A motherboard roundup, the EPoX is a very well rounded board that currently outperforms the other shipping KT266A based solutions.

The Test

As was the case with our original Athlon XP review, we have run all of our benchmarks under a final shipping version of Windows XP Professional. We disabled System Restore and followed Microsoft's directions for benchmarking under Windows XP to obtain repeatable results. We enabled all visual options including anti-aliased fonts.

SYSMark 2001 was run with the Athlon XP's SSE instructions enabled. For more information on why they are disabled by default read our explanation entitled: SYSMark 2001: The Benchmarking Controversy.

Windows XP Test System



AMD Athlon XP 1.60GHz (1900+)
AMD Athlon XP 1.53GHz (1800+)
AMD Athlon XP 1.47GHz (1700+)
AMD Athlon XP 1.40GHz (1600+)
AMD Athlon XP 1.33GHz (1500+)
AMD Athlon-C 1.40GHz
Intel Pentium 4 2.0GHz
Intel Pentium 4 1.9GHz
Intel Pentium 4 1.8GHz
Intel Pentium 4 1.7GHz
Intel Pentium 4 1.6GHz
Intel Pentium 4 1.5GHz
Motherboard(s) EPoX EP-8KHA+ ABIT TH7-II RAID (Intel 850)

256MB PC800 Mushkin RDRAM
256MB DDR266 Crucial (CAS2) DDR SDRAM

Hard Drive

IBM Deskstar 30GB 75GXP 7200 RPM Ultra ATA/100


Phillips 48X

Video Card(s)



Linksys LNE100TX 100Mbit PCI Ethernet Adapter


Operating System

Windows XP

Video Drivers

NVIDIA Detonator 4 v21.80

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