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Gigabyte 7VAXP-A Ultra - Retail VIA KT400A

By: Cameron Johnson | Editorials in Motherboards | Posted: May 1, 2003 4:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 6.0%Manufacturer: Gigabyte

KT400A, VIA's new Athlon XP Solution



While VIA has been battling Intel on the Pentium 4 front, VIA has let the AMD front fall down in the process. AMD Athlon CPU was always VIA's biggest domain, beating out ALI, SiS and nVidia considerably. However, with the fall in P4X chipsets and lawsuits taking up VIA's time, it has left the AMD front open, and let nVidia take over the head of the pack with the nForce2 chipset. Dual DDR and its many features captured the AMD market, and left VIA struggling for KT333 and KT400 sales.


To combat for fall in chipset sales, and to increase its support officially for DDR-400 (KT400 never officially supported DDR-400 memory) VIA updated its portfolio with the KT400A. VIA's KT400A updates the memory controller to add what VIA calls "Faststream 64 Technology". In essence, this is a new memory controller that uses standard 64bit interface rather than 128bit like the nForce2 and reduces the latency by increasing the perfecter on the chipset to allow for faster memory access. Wether or not this helps or not is something to be seen later on in our tests.


VIA's new KT400A is supposed to be accompanied with the VT8237 Southbridge. This new Southbridge adds eight USB ports and two Serial ATA ports, however, VIA hasn't let this Southbridge loose into the market yet, so Gigabyte has been forced to use the VT8235 Southbridge. VIA, while being the first to announce Serial ATA on chip in their Southbridge's, they have yet to be seen on the retail market. Gigabyte uses a large gold plated heatsink to cool the northbridge down which allows for good overclocking.


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