A Closer Look at VIA PT880

Compared to the earlier VIA P4X400 chipset, PT880 brings VIA completely up-to-date in features for the Pentium 4 platform.

Feature PT800 P4X400
North Bridge
Processor Support Intel® Pentium® 4 Intel® Pentium® 4
Hyper Threading Support Yes Yes
Front Side Bus 800/533/400MHz 533/400MHz
Memory Support DDR400/333/266 w/ECC DDR400/333/266
Max Memory 8.0GB 4.0GB
AGP Support AGP 8X/4X AGP 8X/4X
South Bridge VT8237 VT8235
North/South Bridge Link 8X V-Link (533MB/sec) 8X V-Link (533MB/sec)
Integrated Audio VIA VinylTM Audio integrated 5.1 surround sound VIA VinylTM Audio integrated 5.1 surround sound
Integrated Modem MC'97 MC'97
Integrated Network Controller VIA MAC 10/100 Ethernet VIA MAC 10/100 Ethernet
PCI Devices/Slots 6 slots
Dual Channel Serial ATA directly supports two SATA devices
6 slots
SATA
SATAliteTM interface expands support for two additional SATA devices
No
V-RAID RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 0+1 & JBOD (SATA) No
PATA Dual Channel Parallel ATA133 (up to 4 devices) Dual Channel Parallel ATA133 (up to 4 devices)
USB 8 ports 6 ports
Super I/O LPC Super I/O LPC Super I/O
IO APIC Yes Yes
Power Management ACPI/APM/PCI/PM ACPI/APM/PCI/PM

The big news, of course, is support for Dual-Channel memory, but it is also worth mentioning that the PT880 supports up to 8GB of Dual-Channel memory. The 8237 South Bridge has been paired with K8T800 for the last few months, so the contemporary feature-set is familiar. With full support for SATA, SATA RAID, base code for VIA vinyl audio, built-in 10/100 Ethernet LAN, and 8 USB ports, the 8237 competes well with the best from any chipmaker.

VIA calls their new Dual-Channel Memory Controller FastStream64. VIA says that they have used an expanded array of prefetch buffers to reduce latency in the memory controller. They claim that this provides similar performance to Intel's Dual-Channel controller at a lower transistor cost.



Like the recently introduced SiS 655TX, VIA also fully supports all Socket 478 processors, including the latest Prescott and P4EE. VIA Vinyl audio is supported by the 8237. Codecs can be used by the board maker for either 6-channel AC '97 audio or the very high quality Vinyl Envy 24 audio.

Key Features
  • Supports full range of Intel® Pentium® 4 processors
  • Supports Hyper-Threading Technology
  • 800/533/400MHz FSB settings
  • Supports up to 8GB DDR400/333/266 SDRAM with ECC
  • Support for AGP 8X/4X
  • V-Link 533 MB/sec high bandwidth North/South Bridge interconnect
  • Support for VIA VinylTM Multichannel Audio Suite
  • Serial ATA support for up to 4 devices
  • Integrated V-RAID with RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, & JBOD (SATA) support
  • Parallel ATA133/100/66 support for up to 4 devices
  • Support for up to 8 USB 2.0/USB 1.1 ports, UHCI compliant
  • Integrated MC'97 Modem
  • Integrated 10/100 Fast Ethernet MAC
  • Advanced power management capabilities including ACPI/OnNow
  • 858-pin BGA North Bridge
  • 539-pin BGA VT8237 South Bridge

Index Basic Features: Soltek SL-PT880Pro-FGR
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  • snide23 - Wednesday, February 25, 2004 - link

    RE: how did it work - so far it is working great, but there appears to be an issue with the Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro running at AGP 8X setting, though. Reply
  • yak8998 - Monday, February 23, 2004 - link

    I skimmed through the article, and was very pleased, especially about the price/features. But then I read about the trashy OC abilities. If they can get this chipset to overclock like an 865/875 board it will be one of the best chipsets to date (and they have to keep the price low) Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Monday, February 23, 2004 - link

    PT880 is kind of an intermediate chipset, i am more interested in pt890.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • GonzoDaGr8 - Monday, February 23, 2004 - link

    Snide, How did that PT880 work out for ya? Reply
  • snide23 - Monday, February 23, 2004 - link

    Odd that this is the first board they have seen with the PT880 chipset. NewEgg has been selling the MSI Neo PT880 for a while now. I have already built one system with it. Reply

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