We first reported basic information about VIA chipsets for Intel Socket 775 about 7 months ago. At that point, road maps pointed to sampling in September of 2004. There have been changes along the way and numerous delays, but today, VIA finally introduces three new chipsets for Prescott Socket T. VIA has watched the very sluggish market for Intel Socket 775 motherboards, and they believe that they have found a better solution which people will want to buy. All the new chipsets feature PCI Express, but unique to VIA, all three chipsets can run at 1066 FSB and use either DDR or DDR2 memory. The PT880 PRO also supports PCI Express graphics or AGP graphics or both on the same motherboard.

VIA is convinced that the high current cost of adoption of the new Socket 775 technology is putting a damper on Socket 775 sales. DDR2 is still more expensive than DDR and VIA projects DDR will still outsell DDR2 until at least the 4th quarter of 2006 - some 2 years away. 915/925X motherboards are also more expensive than competing solutions - about $150 average for 915 and $200+ for 925X/XE. These cost factors, combined with poor availability of PCIe parts, has led to a very sluggish adoption of Socket 775. In addition, there is very little to distinguish 925X/XE performance from 915, except for the somewhat artificial barrier that only 925XE supports the 1066 FSB (currently only one very expensive CPU supports 1066 FSB). We would also add that the lack of any performance advantage for Socket 775 has also had a dramatic impact on sales.

To address these market forces, VIA has introduced three new chipsets for Socket 775. Flexibility is the key throughout the new chipset line, as VIA emphasizes that manufacturers can choose the architecture and features that customers want. VIA believes that this flexibility, compared to the rigid requirements of the Intel 915/925x chipsets, will give manufacturers and customers plenty of incentive to choose a VIA chipset solution for Socket 775.

The New VIA Chipsets


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  • indianguy - Wednesday, February 2, 2005 - link

    I may be wrong about hard disk bottleneck but these north bridges wont make it big anyway . Nforce 5 for intel pentium 4 for is about to be released soon and it wont be a paper launch like this one. It will kick ass of all other pentium chipsets. See the case of KT890 and nforce 4. Via made so much noise about being first for AMD cpu , but never made it while nforce 4 is everywhere.

    At the same time , i should also say that these north bridges made great choice for people upgrading old computers like socket 478 , williamette and northwood . I still have one old pentium 3 with via cle 266 chipset in biostar motherboard, where Via gave a new lease of life to my old pentium 3. But apart from that i wont use or reccomend anyone buying Via.
  • Cygni - Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - link

    little to now = little to no Reply
  • Cygni - Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - link

    I dont agree at all that hard disc performance is whats holding back PC performance. Maybe for read/write heavy apps... but for gaming and general use, HD is hardly the problem, imho. Users these days have gobs of RAM which keeps frequent disc access way down.

    And theres lots of evidence that HD's arent the bottleneck in gaming. Moving from an ATA 133 drive to a SATA 150 drive barely gives any boost at all. Even moving from ATA 100 to SATA 150 shows little boost at all. Same with using Raptors, little to now increase in FPS. Loading times? Yup. Install times? Deffinitly... but overall performance? I just cant agree.
  • indianguy - Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - link

    This is just a paper launch. Hard disc performance is the main bottleneck nowadays in PC performance. Anyone buying motherboard today without NCQ and sata 2 will be very foolish. Until the 8251 (or 8239) southbridge from via comes , these northbridges wont do any good. Better buy a nforce 4 with sata 2 and sata 2 capable drive from hitachi rather than waste money in these obsolete south bridges and ultra v interconnects from via. By the time 8251 south bridge is actually released by via , next gen of 945/955 chipsets with sata 2/ncq will actually be released by intel making these chipsets only sold by no name mothorboard makers who sell only on price not features . Via makes big noise with no actual performace or product availability . No wonder its running knee deep in losses all these years . Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, February 1, 2005 - link

    #19 - We carried the overclocking as far as we could with the somewhat limited options available on the Reference board. The overclocking results are at the bottom of page 6. Reply
  • Googer - Monday, January 31, 2005 - link

    #18 we all know the odd are in favor of AMD winning that battle. 10-1. Reply
  • Azsen - Monday, January 31, 2005 - link

    Have you tried to overclock these boards, see what they are capable of? Reply
  • Dualboy24 - Monday, January 31, 2005 - link

    Well I hope this will help push the 775 boards into a reasonable price range with the support for AGP and PCI-E. This may increase the number of buyers for this platform... but right now I assume most enthusiasts are goinng AMD for the performance and the charts on the review do show why.

    Looking forward to the next big clash of the titans.... Dual Cores anyone?
  • Regs - Monday, January 31, 2005 - link

    Wow would I love to see this for the AMD CPU's as well. It will dramatically help PCI-Express melt in to the market. Reply
  • Cygni - Monday, January 31, 2005 - link

    Impressive stuff from VIA. Should do wonders for their marketshare in the P4 market, im thinking. VIA is already doing quite well in S939 with the K8T800Pro, but its going to lose some when NF4 hits in force. Reply

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