VIA Q3 2004 Chipset Roadmap Updatesby Jarred Walton on October 16, 2004 12:00 AM EST
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VIA Chipset Roadmap
Competition drives our industry, and so we are always glad to see alternatives for various computer components from more companies. Anyone who has followed computers for a reasonable amount of time will have had good experiences and bad experiences with products from every company, and so regardless of past experiences, we always look to future products with a ray of hope. Only final hardware and testing will truly tell whether a design is brilliant in all aspects or if it has flaws that need to be addressed.
VIA has had some great chipsets in the past - for a while they were really the only viable alternative to Intel chipsets. The early Pentium 4 chipsets from VIA faced legal concerns as well as performance problems, and so adoption by motherboard manufacturers was rather slow, but that does not seem to be a problem anymore. On the AMD front, VIA was arguably the better chipset at the time the Opteron and Athlon 64 launched and NVIDIA had to play catch-up, but catch-up they did. Performance between the K8T800 Pro and Nforce3 250 Ultra is very close, but NVIDIA offers additional features and improved overclocking. As we shift towards support for newer technologies like PCIe we will have to see who comes out on top.
VIA is one of the few companies that has a complete chipset portfolio for both AMD and Intel platforms, not to mention their own CPU and graphics chips - more on those in a moment. What this means is that they continue to produce chipsets both with and without integrated graphics for each platform, with multiple chipsets in each category. Their latest roadmap includes their chips that have recently started shipping as well as updates planned for the next few months. We'll provide a quick overview of all of these options, starting with their Intel parts.