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VIA pledges support for AMD's 400MHz FSB

And GeForce FX card launches start in earnest

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Reg Kit Watch

Chipset

VIA has said today that its upcoming Apollo KT600 and UniChrome KM400A chipsets will support the AMD Athlon XP 3200+'s 400MHz frontside bus.

The KT600 supports 400MHz DDR SDRAM, matching the FSB's 3.2GBps throughput. It also supports AGP 8x. When supplied with VIA's VT8237 South Bridge, the chipset provides up to eight USB 2.0 ports, dual-channel Serial ATA with RAID 0, 1 and 0+1, and support for up to four ATA-133 devices. Six-channel audio, 10/100Mbps Ethernet and a 56Kbps modem are built in too.

The KM400A can also use the VT8237 or the older VT8235CE. The North Bridge part provides its own, integrated S3 Graphics UniChrome engine with multi-display support. It also supports AGP 8x for external graphics cards.

Graphics

Creative Labs has announced three new graphics cards following Nvidia's GeForce FX 5900 launch yesterday: the Creative 3D Blaster 5 family. Oddly, none of them actually contain that chip.

The 3D Blaster 5 FX 5600 Ultra will retail in the UK for £219.99, and as its name suggests is based on Nvidia's older GeForce FX 5600 Ultra. The core is clocked to 350MHz as is the DDR 2 memory, for an effective clock of 700MHz. It can process 88 million vertices per second at a fill rate of 1.4 billion texels per second and up to 16 textures per pixel. The AGP 8x card ships with 128MB of video memory operating across a 128-bit bus.

Next comes the £169.99 3D Blaster 5 FX 5200 Ultra, with its 325MHz core and 128MB of SDRAM. It can churn out 81 million vertices per second at a fill rate of 1.3 billion texels per second. It too is an AGP 8x card.

Finally, the 3D Blaster 5 FX 5200 provides budget - £79.99 - AGP 8x graphics acceleration. The core runs at 250MHz, and there's only 64MB of SDRAM.

All three cards will be available in June, said Creative.



Gainward, meanwhile,

did

introduce a GeForce FX 5900-based board, the CoolFX PowerPack Model Ultra/1600 XP Golden Sample. This water-cooled AGP 8x board with a very long lame packs in 256MB of DDR 2 SDRAM overclocked to 450MHz, though it is also available in a cheaper fan-cooled version, though this only clocks the memory at the standard 425MHz. The water-cooled product costs EUR899; the fan-cooled version EUR699. Both cards bundle separate 1394 and Dolby 5.1 cards.



Gainward has also introduced the Ultra/1200 which contains 128MB of 450MHz DDR 2, for EUR549. ®

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