It's still a 32-bit world for most desktop PC users, and VIA Technologies has taken advantage of the latest technologies to create a new platform for AMD's Athlon XP processor. The VIA KT880 chipset features the company's dual-channel DualStream64 memory controller, which uses an enhanced data-prefetch protocol, improved branch prediction, and a tighter read/write turnaround to deliver up to 6.4GB/sec of memory bandwidth with DDR400.
A high-throughput V-Link interconnect enables a 533MB/sec link between the Northbridge and VT8237 Southbridge, which VIA says offers the most complete range of storage, multimedia, and connectivity features available for the Athlon XP: native support for two Serial ATA hard disks as well as up to four IDE devices, the V-RAID integrated controller with support for RAID Levels 0, 1, 0+1, and JBOD storage configurations; 10/100Mbps Ethernet; up to eight USB 2.0 ports; and VIA's Vinyl 6-channel audio. Optional Vinyl Gold 8-channel audio and VIA Velocity Gigabit Ethernet companion controllers increase system flexibility. VIA says that a who's who of Athlon XP motherboard makers have adopted the KT880, including Abit, ASUS, DFI, Epox, Gigabyte, Jetway, MSI, and Soyo.
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