Abstract: DFI has released a series of Socket A boards based on the VIA KT133 and the KT133A chipsets the past few months. These being the AK74-SC, the AK74 EC and the AK74-AC. Although these boards look almost identical, they have some very significant differences.|
We used Business
Winstone 99 and Content Creation Winstone 2000 to evaluate the performance of
the tested boards. Winstone 99 (Business Winstone 99) v1.2 is used to test the
overall business performance of the computer system by using applications such
as MS Office 97, Lotus Smartsuite 97, etc. Content Creation Winstone 2000 is a
system-level, application-based benchmark that measures a PC's overall
performance when running today's Windows-based Internet content creation
applications. The test focuses on top-selling Internet content creation
applications. Each test was run 3 times with the result being the average value
of the 3 test runs. Higher scores indicate better performance.
The AK74-AC offers
excellent business performance, especially on Business Winstone
terms of gaming performance, the tested board stays close to other top
of the integrated AC97 CODEC is adequate enough only for low priced PC speakers.
There are a number of details we observed with sound quality: there's background
noise and interference in medium to high volume levels. Bass output didn't fare
to well either considering its rather weak response.
For simple purposes,
the on-board CODEC should perform quite well. If you take your sound even
somewhat seriously, it is best that you go in for an add-in PCI sound
While the tested board lacks the
presence of multiplier adjustments, overclocking is very easily done through the
CPU FSB jumper. By setting this jumper, we were able to obtain a healthy 133MHz
FSB straight away.
The board remained rock stable up to the 140 MHz mark.
In effect, our Duron 600MHz chip reached a pretty healthy 840MHz and ran stable
at this speed. Not bad for overclock without multiplier
Although this board does not permit for more than a 0.1 volt
increase over normal voltage, in most cases this should not be a limitation
while overclocking. Naturally, further voltage adjustments could be applied by
shorting the CPU bridges but this is just something that some people are simply
afraid to do.
Here are our AK74-AC & overclocked Duron
AK74-AC outperforms Soyo's offering in Quake III by 4% and in business Winstone
99 by a small margin as well.
The DFI AK7-AC
proved to be a rather nice surprise. This product gathers everything from what
one can ask for: a solid and stable platform, feature rich and great
overclockability for a board without multiplier adjustments. The support of
133MHz FSB processors allows all users to easily overclock their chips without
any hardware modification and allows installation of AMD's future processors
equipped with a 133MHz FSB as well. While DFI focused on making this product a
very stable platform for mainstream use (they have obtained AMD's certification
for this board), their choice of the KT-133A satisfies a few overclockers as
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