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VIA's KT333CE Chipset 3D Performance Problems

VIA's KT333CE Chipset 3D Performance Problems - PCSTATS
Abstract: In 3D oriented benchmarks, at higher bus speeds, VIA's KT333CE chipset seems to be performing consistently slower than the older VIA KT266A chipset.
Filed under: Chipset Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: VIA May 18 2002   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Chipset > VIA KT333CE

First, An Example

With the exact same hardware and the Epox 8KHA+ or the Abit KR7A running at 170 MHz FSB (for example), the boards based on the older KT266A often outperformed KT333CE based board running at the blistering speed of 200 MHz+ FSB!

For the Epox 8K3A+ (KT333CE) to match the Epox 8KHA+ (KT266A) in 3DMark the Epox 8K3A+ had to be run around 30 MHz higher in FSB! If the problems were exclusive to 3DMark it wouldn't be that big a deal, however Quake III Arena (which is known to crave memory bandwidth/high FSB's) also exhibited up to a 20 fps difference in tests.

One thing we been observing over the past few months is that the memory bandwidth scores other hardware review websites were reporting were not that impressive for the KT333CE chipset. Most sites had been using KT333CE-based motherboards for their reference platforms as they were able to hit speeds in excess of 200 MHz FSB with aggressive memory timings. At the same time they seemed to be falling short of KT266A motherboads (such as the Abit KR7A) teamed up with some PC3000 DDR at 200 MHz FSB with the most relaxed memory timings!

Our own testing seems to indicated that the memory controller on the VIA KT333CE maybe tweaked more for compatibility and high FSB's more then overall performance since we were unable to get the KT333CE-base boards to match the KT266A based motherboards in terms of memory bandwidth.

The tests are coming:

To illustrate what we mean, we have set up a an all out brawl between our VIA KT266A and VIA KT333CE based motherboards. The boards were tested at stock speeds and at 166 MHz to see which chipset really is faster. Our combatants representing the KT333CE side will be the Epox 8K3A+ and the Shuttle AK35GTR Ver 2.2. The Epox 8KHA+ and Abit KR7A-133RAID will fight for the KT266A chipset side. Our results were very interesting to say the least! We did have another KT333CE board, however the Soltek SL-75DRV5 KT333CE didn't overclock well and our MSI KT3 Ultra-ARU is based on the earlier beta KT333CD chipset.

We used an AthlonXP 2100+ for the review however it was run at XP2000+ speeds to save me from painting the bridges over and over again. All motherboards were tested with the absolute latest BIOS available as of the writing of this article.

PCStats Test System Specs:

Computer Hardware:

Processor: AthlonXP 2100+
Clock Speed:

12.5x133 MHz=1.66 GHz
10x166 MHz = 1.66 GHz


Epox 8KHA+
Abit KR7A-133RAID
Epox 8K3A+
Shuttle AK35GTR Ver 2.2


VIA KT266A (8KHA+, KR7A-133RAID)
VIA KT333CE (8K3A+, AK35GTR Ver 2.2)

Videocard: nVidia GeForce 4 Ti4600
Sound Card: N/A
Network Card:



256MB KingMAX DDR333
256MB PC3000 DDR RAM (Extreme FSB Sandra mem test only)

Hard Drive: 40GB 7200RPM Maxtor D740X Ultra/133
CDROM: Panasonic 48x CD-ROM CR-594-B

Panasonic 1.44MB Floppy Drive

Heatsink: Thermalright SK-6 w/60mm Delta
PowerSupply: Antec 400W PSU
Software Setup: WindowsXP
VIA 4in1 4.38V
DetonatorXP 27.70
DirectX 8.1

Content Creation 2001
SiSoft Sandra 2002 Plus


Quake III Arena

The benchmarks start on the next page, please look over all the results carefully.

< Previous Page © 2018 PCSTATS.com Next Page >


Contents of Article: VIA KT333CE
 Pg 1.  VIA's KT333CE Chipset 3D Performance Problems
 Pg 2.  — First, An Example
 Pg 3.  Winstone 2001 Benchmarks
 Pg 4.  SiSoft Sandra 2002 Benchmarks
 Pg 5.  SiSoft Sandra 2002 Screenshots
 Pg 6.  More SiSoft Sandra 2002 Screenshots
 Pg 7.  PCMark 2002 Benchmarks
 Pg 8.  3DMark 2001SE Benchmarks
 Pg 9.  Quake III Arena Benchmarks
 Pg 10.  Final Conclusions

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   12 / 16 / 2018 | 8:34PM
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