VIA Technologies seemed down and out over the past 8 months with Pentium 4 licensing issues with Intel and battle in the AMD segment with nVidia and their popular nForce chipset series. Now that VIA and Intel have settled their differences with Pentium 4 licensing, it has enabled VIA to get back into the chipset game at full strength with no objects in their way.
As a step in the right direction for regaining their strong Pentium 4 chipset market presence once more, today VIA launched their newest chipset, the PT800 chipset for the Pentium 4 which is targeted at the performance mainstream segment. Coupled with VIA's new VT8237 Southbridge which was launched only last week, you have support for 800MHz FSB processors, FastStream64 DDR400, AGP8X, and native Serial ATA/RAID. We will spend tomorrow testing VIA's reference PT800 motherboard and we should have a complete review published in two days - if everything goes to plan!
Supporting 800MHz FSB and Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, the VIA PT800 chipset implements VIA's advanced FastStream64 DDR400 Memory Controller and AGP8X graphics port in a synchronized North Bridge configuration that maximizes bus bandwidth efficiency. When coupled with the advanced new VIA VT8237 South Bridge, the PT800 delivers a host of advanced connectivity and multimedia features, including the VIA DriveStation Controller Suite, containing the industry's first full-featured native Serial ATA/RAID controller that enables the fusion of high-speed 150MB/s dual channel Serial ATA with RAID Level 0, RAID Level 1, and RAID Level 0+1 storage options while retaining support for up to four additional Parallel ATA-133 devices. The VIA Vinyl Multichannel Audio Suite provides superlative integrated and onboard 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound options while 8X V-Link serves as a high-throughput North and South Bridge interconnect, feeding a host of high-bandwidth connectivity options including support for up to eight high-speed USB 2.0 ports and 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet.More information in our VIA Forum