Having thoroughly investigated all three of the new PT series chipsets today, it is quite clear to us that VIA have put a lot of plain down right intelligent thought into their new PT880 Pro, PT894 and PT894 Pro chipsets - not just technically but it shows VIA have a very clear and concise understanding of what the market is demanding at the moment with the transition between DDR and DDR-II and AGP and PCI Express. Through this obvious understanding of market demand which can be seen by their seemingly impeccable chipset plan comes the technology and we reckon VIA got the hole in one today with just the right mix of what is needed. All they need to do now is fight against the titanic "Intel" brand name for the average user who has never or rarely heard of the name "VIA".
VIA has stepped into the arena with these new chipsets and depending on how VIA's motherboard partners (ABIT, ASUS, Chaintech, Biostar, DFI, ECS, Epox, Gigabyte, Jetway, MSI and Soltek) adopt these new chipsets, the Taiwanese chipset company should be able to take up quite a chunk of Intel's Pentium 4 chipset market share with their range of new chipsets which while very small in differences provide on paper solid alternatives (as well as innovations) to what Intel have on offer with their Pentium 4 chipsets.
We can't wait to see what a company like Albatron or Gigabyte will do with the VIA PT880 Pro chipset. If they can design and create the board right, it is sure to be an instant hit with budget conscious end-users wanting to upgrade to DDR-II and PCI Express or just one at the time - not everyone has stacks of money to throw away on computer hardware. While Intel attempted to make the transition to the new technology easier with the Intel 915 series of chipsets, they only went half way and didn't offer support for AGP which VIA has capitalized on here today. Similarly with the VIA PT894 chipset, we'd like to see a company such as ABIT, ASUS or MSI get hold on the chipset and tweak it for all it's worth and see what we get when compared to any one of the current Intel chipsets. It's tough to predict how the VIA PT894 Pro will go in the market but it should prove popular for the market segment it is targeting as long as the price is right.
We cannot wait to get our hands on new motherboards based on these chipsets. On paper they look perfect and maybe just might get Intel sweating a little when they become available on store shelves within the next month or so.
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