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VIA unveils P4 PCI-E chipsets

'Two cards, four monitors' vs 'two cards, one screen'

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VIA will today roll out its latest Pentium 4 chipsets, pitching the parts at mobo makers who want the graphics card flexibility that - the chip maker claims - rival products lack.

Three chipsets are on the cards: the PT800 Pro, the PT894 and PT894 Pro. All three support dual-channel DDR and DDR 2 SDRAM at up to 667MHz, and can handle P4 processors with a 1066MHz frontside bus clock.

In addition to providing both AGP 8x and PCI Express x16 connectors, the boards support VIA's DualGFX technology to drive up to four monitors. Using multiple cards to provide multi-monitor support is more widely demanded than pairing boards to drive a single screen, according to VIA marketing chief Richard Brown, speaking in London today about Nvidia's SLi system.

Similarly the presence of AGP alongside PCI-E will win support for the chipsets from customers and end-users seeking "more flexibility than some of our competitors can provide", he added.

That's probably just as well, since VIA has come late to the P4/PCI-E market. Today's products were originally scheduled to ship during Q4 2004. The company launched PCI-E chipsets for AMD's 64-bit processors in November 2004.

The chipsets also support the usual Serial ATA with RAID, Parallel ATA, PCI Express for other add-in cards, USB 2.0, 100Mbps Ethernet, and HD audio. ®

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