VIA ships ‘legal’ Pentium 4 chipset
VIA has launched is first 'legitimate' Pentium 4 chipset - its first part to be offered with Intel's tacit blessing following the settlement of the two companies' long-running legal dispute.
The PT800, as anticipated, provides a single-channel 400MHz DDR memory bus in order to pitch the part under Intel's dual-channel P4 chipsets, the 865 and 875 families. Like those chipsets, the P4800 supports the new 800MHz effective bit rate frontside bus.
Further down-market, below the mainstream segment, VIA will later this year pitch an integrated version of the part.
VIA claims comparable performance with Intel's 875 chipset in single or dual-channel mode. The company's own figures show a 1.25 per cent lead over the single-channel 875 using PC Mark 2002 Pro memory benchmarks, and a 1.5 per cent lead over the same 875 when put to the test with 3D Mark 2001. Jedi Knight frame rate tests put them practically neck-and-neck. The PT800's lead in Quake III frame rates ranges from under five per cent at 640x480 down to zero at 1280x1024.
The PT800 comprises a North Bridge of the same name and VIA's VT8237 South Bridge, which brings dual-channel Serial ATA; RAID 0, 1 and 0+1; two ATA 133 channels; 10/100 Ethernet; VIA's Vinyl eight-channel audio system; and support for up to eight USB 2.0 ports to the table. ®