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VIA AGP 4.40 Driver Preview

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Subject: Chipsets
Manufacturer: VIA
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We asked and VIA delivered – Test Setup

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.

When we first published our results in our nForce2 and KT400 Chipset Comparison article in early November, very quickly we received word that VIA was indeed working on a solution to this problem that we had brought to light. Our first response was that the drivers from VIA for their 8x AGP support were just behind the times. And it turns out we were right.


The major indicator of the problem was the results on the Quake III testing that showed the KT400 chipset trailing by 12% or more on the benchmarks using the Radeon 9700 Pro video card but less than 3% on the Ti 4400 video card. The problem lay in the implementation of the AGP 8x.


An insider at VIA sent me an updated AGP driver yesterday and told me to try and retest the KT400 chipset with 8x AGP. The results were very nice, as you shall see here.


UPDATE (12/10): VIA has now officially released these drivers. Get them here.


Test Setup


The test system for this article consisted of the KT400 powered Abit AT7-MAX2, which was featured in our recent KT400 motherboard roundup, 2 x 256 MB of Corsair XMS3500 memory, an ATI Radeon 9700 Pro graphics card and all the other usually odds and ends.


The only difference between the two system setups is version of the AGP drivers used. In our first run, we used the VIA 4-in-1 drivers version 4.43, which includes AGP driver version 4.30a. The new driver that I received was the AGP driver version 4.40. That means, for our benchmark graphs, the AGP 4.40 is the new, updated driver and the 4in-1 4.43 version is the older one, despite the names and numbers used.


I am sure you are eager to see the results, so here is the complete system setup and then on to the results.




AMD Test System Setup


CPU

1 x 2.17 GHz AMD Athlon XP 2700+ Processor


Motherboards

Abit AT7-MAX2


Memory

2 x 256MB Corsair Micro XMS3200 DDR DRAM


Hard Drive

80 GB 7200 RPM IBM EIDE


Video Card

ATI Radeon 9700 Pro


Video Drivers

61.66


Motherboard Drivers

VIA 4-in-1 4.43 (includes VIA 4.30a AGP Driver)

VIA 4.40 AGP Driver


Operating System

Windows XP w/ Service Pack 1




Tests:


Quake III: Arena

Unreal Tournament 2K3

3DMark 2001

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