Review Index:

NVIDIA nForce2 and VIA KT400 Chipset Gaming Comparison

Author: Ryan Shrout
Subject: Chipsets
Manufacturer: General

System Setup and Benchmarks

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

During the initial stages of this testing, I was trying to test all of the boards to find the bottleneck in the Quake III benchmarks I was finding. My first inclination was to test the 8x AGP vs. 4x AGP. However, because the AGP 3.0 spec (that 8x AGP follows) doesn’t allow 8x AGP compatible cards to work in anything buy 8x AGP, I had to test the same configuration with two different video cards: in this case the Radeon 9700 Pro to test 8x AGP and the MSI Ti 4400 to test 4x AGP.

I also wanted to test to see how each chipset was able to take advantage of the additional bus speeds that the new Athlon XP 2700+ and 2800+ processors were able to supply. (Click here for the full Athlon XP 2700+ review) So, I tested each of the setups mentioned above (8x and 4x AGP) with both a 266 MHz FSB 2600+ and a 333 MHz FSB 2700+ processor, which both almost run at the same frequency.

All the drivers we used were the latest available as of 10/27/02. This includes the 2.3 Catalyst ATI drivers, 4.43 VIA 4in1 drivers, etc.

Here are the system setups and the benchmarks we used during this article:

AMD Test System Setup


1 x 2.17 GHz AMD Athlon XP 2700+ Processor

1 x 2.13 GHz AMD Athlon XP 2600+ Processor


Retail nForce2 Motherboard

Retail KT400 Motherboard


2 x 256MB Corsair Micro XMS3200 DDR DRAM

Hard Drive


Video Card

ATI Radeon 9700 Pro

MSI GeForce 4 Ti 4400

Video Drivers

Catalyst 2.3

Detonator 30.27

Operating System

Windows XP w/ Service Pack 1

Benchmarks Used:

Quake III: Arena

Unreal Tournament 2K3

3D Mark 2001: SE

SPECviewperf 7.0

As you can see, we used a very abbreviated list of our usual benchmarks. This was just so that I could concentrate on the issues on the chipsets that I was trying to investigate. So, this is why the article became a “gaming comparison.”

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