We tested the board for stability with three different types of memory. The first was generic PC2100 using Samsung DRAMs, the second was Crucial
brand PC2100 using Micron DRAMs, and the third was OCZ PC2700 rated memory. All three memories performed flawlessly at 266MHz FSB, and both the Crucial
PC2100 and the OCZ PC2700 performed with excellence at 333MHz DDR. The Samsung PC2100 POSTed and booted, but was subject to frequent crashes at 333 MHz. Incidentally, Iwill has expressed to us that it has had the best results internally using Micron and Hynix memory.
We’ll say again; if you want a guaranteed 333 MHz FSB, get memory tested and validated at 333 MHz (PC2700). That’s the only way to guarantee success. With that said, our experience indicates that if you already have Hynix, or especially Micron/Crucial PC2100, you might have a pretty decent shot at 333 MHz.
In terms of the chipset, and ALi’s drivers in particular, we’re happy to report that we’ve encountered no difficulties whatsoever. Read that sentence over carefully – we’re not saying the drivers are perfect, we’re saying we haven’t found any problems yet. To be frank, we’d be lying if we told you we’re as confident in ALi chipset drivers as we are in Intel’s, but to ALi’s credit, the drivers do seem to be quite solid, and we haven’t any conflicts, errors or bugs to report. In addition, there haven’t been any chronic issues popping up in discussion forums (which are usually the best place to look for driver compatibility information).
What about performance numbers? No, we didn’t forget, but as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait. In about two weeks, we’ll be posting a follow up to this article, combined with a look at modern Athlon chipsets, in which you’ll find performance figures from the XP333-R at 266 and 333 MHz FSB, as well as figures from VIA’s KT266A, and SiS’ 735 chipsets. We apologize for the delay, however it was necessary in order to ensure that sufficient properly conducted benchmarks are available.