. . . But where is the Dual Channel memory support?
The embargo for the Apollo KT400A chipset from VIA Technologies has just expired as it passes midnight Down Under in Australia. It is a 7th Generation Performance Chipset for the AMD Athlon XP processor. It offers what VIA call FastStream64 single channel DDR memory technology which is claimed to be equivalent in performance to dual channel solutions - It is interesting to see that VIA did not include dual channel memory support but as they truly state: AMD 333MHz FSB is maxed out at 2.7GB/s, equivalent to the maximum theoretical bandwidth in a single channel DDR333 configuration. On the other hand, nVidia's competitor nForce2 at 333MHz FSB can provide 5.4GB/s and at 400MHz FSB can provide 6.4GB/s of memory bandwidth, through its dual channel setup.
Incidentally this is quite intriguing since VIA's previous KT333 chipset was pushed by its marketing team for being able to provide 2.7GB/s of memory bandwidth, when the Athlon XP running at a 266MHz FSB at the time only was capable of 2.1GB/s - quite a change of sides. So, what happens if AMD release a 400MHz FSB Barton core processor in the near future? All signs say that VIA will be maxed out, whereas nVidia can push on with their dual channel nForce2.
Along with full 333MHz FSB support, AGP 8x capability, VIA's own Vinyl 6-Channel Audio and Serial ATA through the accompanying VT8237 south bridge; it looks to be a fairly promising product despite the lack of dual channel memory support with motherboards from third party manufactures due to be released very soon. Unfortunately due to limited samples, we were not supplied with a reference sample which of course made it impossible for us to conduct any preliminary benchmarks.
More information in our VIA Forum