IntroductionBIOSTAR K8T800 and nForce 150 REVIEW
The Athlon 64 Clawhammer CPU, of which the 3200+ model is currently the lone ranger, is an altogether CPU from almost every angle. It's damn fast with present 32-bit applications, thanks in no small part to a large L2 cache and low-latency, on-die memory controller. It also promises to be futureproof CPU with the ability to run 64-bit code as and when OS' and applications begin to filter through.
Our initial look at two rival chipsets, located here, found that both VIA and NVIDIA knew how to maximise the talents of the hybrid CPU. Both the nForce3 150 and VIA K8T800 proved stable, fast and attractive. We surmised that the K8T800, with its greater degree of on-chip feature integration, was probably the one we'd opt for initially. Our one concern was the inability to manually define RAM latency timings as both EPoX and Shuttle, the providers of the respective boards, decided to focus on stability above all else.
We were keen to test both motherboards with our usual low-latency approach. The already impressive benchmarks derived from the Athlon 64 3200+ would be further enhanced. Biostar seemed to oblige with retail models of both the VIA K8T800 and NVIDIA nForce3 150 chipsets, models which featured an unlocked memory timing section. It also makes sense to compare rival chipsets from a single manufacturer, for it should apply its engineering skills in equal measure for both chipset parties. Is the K8T800 still ahead of the nF3 150 ?. Let's find out.