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  Daily Column, August 9th 
  Aug 09, 2001, 08:00am EDT 
By: Dan Mepham

Good morning, everyone! Enjoying the summer heat?

I wanted to let you all know that, finally, I知 done with my final exams. I wrote the last one on Tuesday morning, and except for a small bit of confusion between coherent and incoherent sound sources and intensities, it went pretty well (by the way, if any of you happen to be experts on coherent and incoherent sound intensities, then I could really use a solid explanation, as I don稚 think my Professor had a solid grip on that one himself!). In any event, I知 finished now, and I have a short bit of time off, in which I hope to get back into the swing of things here with the site, and get some decent new content up.

In keeping with that, a couple days ago I received a package containing a product I知 very excited about. That product is Iwill痴 new KK266Plus motherboard. In a nutshell, the board is identical to the KK266 (which happens to be my favorite KT133A board, and one of, if not the best Athlon board around), save for two minor changes. The first is the use of a 6-channel hardware sound controller, as opposed to the 4.1-channel controller used on the KK266. The new controller also supports digital (S/PDIF) output. Secondly, Iwill has added (tentatively) an active cooler to the Northbridge of the board. Why is this such good news? Well, with the basic green heatsink, my KK266 board has been able to achieve bus speeds of around 160-162 MHz. When I added active cooling myself, bus speeds of 166 MHz (333 MHz DDR!) were easily achievable. It痴 my suspicion that the KK266Plus will hit 166 MHz straight out of the box, thanks to the active cooler. And let me tell you, the performance at 166 MHz FSB should be quite nice!

A glimpse of Iwill's new KK266Plus

Fig 1. Iwill's new KK266Plus. Watch for a review shortly.

In addition, I have a couple 815 B-step boards to look at, as well as a Hercules video card. Unfortunately for 815 owners or potential owners, it seems like the P3 may not be with us much longer, which makes 815 boards much less attractive as either upgrades or new purchases. Nevertheless, right now, the P3 is still the most popular desktop processor in the world, and so we値l continue to cover P3-related topics (although we値l probably be forced, in good conscience, to advise against them, regardless of how good the products may be). In any event, stay tuned, and hopefully we値l have some interesting material up for you shortly.

Dan Mepham


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