VIA has always prided themselves on innovative and high performance designs and great overclocking support. VIA has done this in the past but faltered slightly in the present. Since the KT333 and KT400 chipsets came out, VIA has put a slight tarnish on its name, which they have been pushing to remove, and have done a reasonably good job with on the PT880 chipset.
Being VIA's first Dual Channel DDR chipset we were expecting to see some signs of the old first time syndrome like SiS had with the 655FX and like Intel had with the E7205 - however VIA got it right first time. The performance has just about equalled that of the fastest Pentium 4 chipset, the I875P Canterwood. With a price tag under that of the I865PE Springdale chipset, the PT880 could be the biggest Pentium 4 chipset yet; however this all depends on motherboard manufacturers.
In our search, we have seen that the motherboards being released based on the chipset are very plain in design and very limited as far as overclocking goes, which will limit it to the value segment and not into the hardcore market, where VIA aims to be.
Overall we liked the PT880 chipset with its great performance and price tag and hope that some motherboards come out designed for the hardcore overclockers, as the PT880 chipset has just what it takes to be one of the best in the business right now.
Dual Channel DDR-400 Support
High speed link to Southbridge
Native SATA support with RAID
Cheaper than I865PE Springdale
No Integrated Gigabit NIC link
Current motherboards are not overclocker friendly or are very plain
Rating - 8.5 out of 10
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