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VIA ships P4M800 Pro chipset

Low-end line adds DDR 2 support, gears up for HDTV era

VIA today began shipping its latest low-end Intel-oriented chipset, bringing DDR 2 SDRAM and faster frontside bus speeds to its budget line-up.

The P4M800 Pro builds on the P4M800 with the addition of the faster, less power-hungry memory specification, with clock speeds of up to 533MHz supported. While the previous version uses Intel's 800MHz FSB, the Pro release ups that to 1066MHz.

Well, the company's announcement puts the limit at 800MHz, but its own chipset diagram has the FSB down as 1066MHz.

Like its predecessor, the P4M800 Pro incorporates S3's UniChrome Pro, which supports HDTV output at up to 1080p resolution, and provides CRT, LCD and SDTV output too, via two 8-bit video capture ports and three 12-bit digital video ports. The 200MHz, 128-bit 3D graphics engines features twin pixel-rendering pipes and is capable of two textures per pass with a triangle rate up to 4.5m triangles per second, a pixel rate up to 200m pixels per second and a texel bilinear fill rate up to 400m texels per second, VIA said. There's an AGP 8x port for an external graphics card.

Meanwhile, audio comes courtesy of the chipset's VT8237R+ South Bridge and VIA's Vinyl 5.1, six-channel sound system, along with Vinyl Gold Audio 7.1 surround sound.

The South Bridge part also offers RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and JBOD, and can handle up to four ATA-133 devices and two Serial ATA ports to support four devices. It can control up to eight USB 2.0 ports and features an integrated 10/100Mbps Ethernet controller.

VIA said motherboards featuring the chipset are expected to be available "soon". ®

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