The best place to start would be taking a look at the chipset features which are consistent throughout the PT880 Pro, PT894 and PT894 Pro parts and then later explain the differences between each of the chipsets.
Each chipset uses the same "High Performance Memory Controller" (nicknamed "StepUp" for obvious reasons) which contains official support for both Dual Channel DDR and DDR-II memory standards - keep in mind though that you cannot run DDR and DDR-II together on the same motherboard. On the DDR side we have the expected DDR-400 support and on the DDR-II side there is official support for DDR-II 667 which will help increase memory bandwidth when running the CPU and memory with dividers. As mentioned earlier, motherboard manufacturers will be able to choose whether or not they provide DDR or DDR-II or both on their retail boards and we shouldn't have to mention again why this is important (refer to the introduction if you skipped it).
All new VIA PT chipsets contain full support for up to 1066MHz FSB processors which is a fairly big plus as on the Intel side you need to spend extra dollars to obtain 1066FSB processor support from the premium 925XE chipset. The Northbridge and Southbridge are connected through VIA's "Ultra V-Link" bus which provides a plentiful 1066MB/s link.
While I haven't personally had much experience at all with VIA onboard audio, this is an area VIA seems to be pushing with the VIA Vinyl HD Audio solution which is universal among all chipsets. It supports 24/96 resolution outputs along with advanced 3D sound emulation through the integrated VIA Envy24PT sound processor. These specifications are up there with the Sound Blaster Audigy2 which shows that VIA consider audio an important part of their overall chipset product.
Storage is also something VIA aren't taking lightly with full support through the new VT8251 Southbridge for SATAII which increases data transfer rates to 300MB/s which is twice the speed of current SATA drives as well as adds native support for Command Queuing which basically optimizes the way data is collected from the hard drive and hence provides a performance increase. SATAII drives should come on the market later this year.
Through SATAII you also have the ability to use a technology called Port Multiplier which allows you to add up to 60 drives per controller, according to VIA. It sounds very funky but the 300MB/s of bandwidth is shared between all the connected drives so in reality you probably wouldn't use anymore than 2 or 3 at most. Additionally through VIA's revised native V-RAID system you have the ability to use just about every RAID method you can think of (minus RAID 10) including RAID 5 which is RAID 0 + 1 with just three hard disk drives and it is something VIA are claiming they are first to the market with.
The Southbridge which will be used with each of the VIA chipsets is the new VT8251. It provides the support for the SATAII and V-RAID we just talked about along with an extra two PCI Express lanes, eight USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 LAN and 8 channel audio. VIA have told us that the new VT8251 Southbridge will not be featured on retail motherboards until Q2 2005, until then the older VT8237 will be used. It just may pay waiting till boards are released with this newer Southbridge.
That covers just about all of the common features of the new VIA PT chipsets except graphics interfaces but that's what separates all three products so continue on and find out what is different between each chipset.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
Recommended for You
- We at TweakTown openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion of our content. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here.
Latest News Posts
- ASUS hints dual camera in 1st official ZenFone 4 teaser
- Samsung reportedly decides on the Galaxy S9 screen size
- ASUS X399 ROG Zenith Extreme: ThreadRipper BEAST BOARD
- Intel CPU engineer leaves after 20 years
- Digital made up 80% of Ubisoft's first quarter sales
- Lian-Li DK02 Watercooling and dimensions
- ASUS X200 CA 1.0 should camera appear in system in control panel?
- How to upgrade the BIOS to GA-UD23-B3?
- Baby Driver Movie Review
- Asus laptop BIOS does not recognize UBCD-post page is grayed out - can't post
- Atari announces Blade Runner 2049 partnership with NECA and Audiowear, launching wearable technology that blurs the line between fashion and future
- BIOSTAR introduces the world's first 8-slot PCI-e mining motherboard with the TB250-BTC+
- HyperX unveils HyperX Alloy Elite and TKL HyperX Alloy FPS Pro mechanical gaming keyboards
- Toshiba Memory Corporation develops world's first 3D flash memory with TSV technology
- ADATA releases XPG GAMMIX line with S10 PCIe Gen3x4 NVMe 1.2 SSD and D10 DDR4