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  1. #1
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    VIA PT880 mainboards showing up with Prescott support
    At very affordable price-points


    The first ever mainboard based on VIA PT880 core-logic has just shown up in Japanese retail stores. At just above $100, MSI and VIA are offering nearly premier level of performance and features.

    Looks like VIA Technologies – one of the world’s most influential core-logic designers – who is in the doldrums these days is trying to convince customers to choose VIA by offering extremely low pricing on its chipsets allowing mainboard makers to market VIA-based mainboards at very affordable price-points. Generally, price is a weapon that helped VIA to fight one of its main rivals – Intel Corporation – in the past and may help the Taipei, Taiwan-based firm to come back once again.

    Without any surprises, the first mainboard to emerge in retail is the first mainboard utilizing the PT880 core-logic ever announced – MSI PT880 Neo-FISR. The new product supports processors with 400/533/800MHz Quad Pumped Bus, features 4 DIMM slots for up to 4GB of PC2100/PC2700/3200 memory (dual-channel memory bus support: memory modules used should be identical and installed in pairs), an AGP 8x, 5 PCI slots, 2-channel ATA-33/66/100, 2-channel Serial ATA-150 with RAID, 10/100/1000Mb/s Ethernet controller, 6-channel AC'97 sound, FireWire, USB 2.0, FireWire and so on. An important peculiarity of MSI PT880 is FMB 1.5 support allowing installation of Intel Pentium 4 “Prescott” processors, Akiba PC Hotline reported.

    MSI PT880 Neo-FISR in Japan costs from $102 to $135, what is very affordable, given that there is Gigabit Ethernet controller installed. Furthermore, retailers usually charge more for the novelties, while in Tokyo, Japan, hardware costs higher than in the rest of the world. All the mentioned things lead us to assume that VIA PT880 mainboards will be extremely cost-effective for their performance and features.

    xbit

  2. #2
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    VIA to ship PCI Express P4 chipset at month-end

    VIA will begin small-volume deliveries of its third 800MHz FSB (front-side bus) Pentium 4 (P4) chipset – the PT890 – at the end of this month, according to local motherboard makers.

    Several board makers have received engineering samples of the PT890 from VIA and expect to complete circuit design at month-end.

    DigiTimes

  3. #3
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    VIA ApeXtreme gaming console

    Here is just about as much scoop as you are going to get before this thing is officially unveiled at CES this week. It seems that VIA is carving out their own segment of the emerging console market under the APEX brand name with the new "ApeXtreme Personal Gaming Console and DVD Player", or PGC.

    Under the sleek and very living room friendly exterior is the now widely known VIA Eden Embedded System Platform running at a very fast 1.4GHz supported by a next-gen VIA chipset, the CN400. This system is not focused to be part of the hardcore gaming market but rather a more mainstream one. There are however a few features on the ApeXtreme that are going to make it a very likeable addition to many of an enthusiast living room.

    It will be powered by a near-instant-on version of WinXP (embedded) with Windows Media Player, and as you can obliviously see from the pictures, will have removable media in the form of DVD/CD. We are told the OS will not be "locked down", certainly inviting many modifications by the end user. The video processor behind the box will be VIA's S3 DeltaChrome graphics processor, and VIA 5.1 "Vinyl" audio will supply 5.1 sound.

    Six USB2 ports, RCA, DVI, and S-video outs, SPDIF out, 10/100 Ethernet and modem, and get a load of this, Component Video Out! Yes, it supports High Def signaling. This thing has got “DivX Jukebox” written all over it and I already want one for my living room. It seems as though a 40GB IDE hard drive that is NOT proprietarily formatted will be the main storage for the system. I would think expanding the storage might be very easy to accomplish succesfully. Pricepoints and scaling of models is yet to be known by us.

    Obviously, you can play DVD movies, audio and video CDs, and PC games on the box. We were also told that versions of games are being developed that you do not have to "load". Simply put the CD in and play, much like is used on other consoles. We were also told that price points will be at US$299 and US$399 and that you should be able to buy them pretty much anywhere Apex appliances are now sold. So that means the bigger electronics stores in North America.

    From the first looks that we have gotten at the ApeXtreme PCG, I have to say that it looks to be very exciting and has just knocked the cost of building a DIY "Home Theater PC" down quite a bit. The interface is supposedly a wireless "keypad" controller. The only thing that I see missing is 802.11G wireless networking, but I bet that is already slated for the next revision should this take off in the marketplace. I personally would still use my PC for most of my gaming and surfing, but I can see a couple hundred DivX movies and countless MP3s being dumped onto it making my "DVD Jukebox" a reality.

    HardOCP

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    VIA PT890 and PCI Express

    What you are seeing (see attachment) is a picture of a static demo reference motherboard from VIA sporting their PT890 chipset. It supports the Pentium 4 processors, PCI Express, & AGP. Sources in Taiwan explain to us that the new Alderwood and Grantsdale chipsets from Intel will support AGP and PCI Express also, but the luxury of supporting both will not be allowed. This puts VIA in a very advantageous position of being able to supply motherboards to the enthusiast with a much easier upgrade path to those that do not want to purchase a new videocard.

    The longer black connector above a PCI Express X16 slot and the one just under it is an X4 connector. Of course directly above the X16 PCI Express slot is our traditional AGP4X/8X slot that is soon to be a legacy technology. The PT890 will be announced at CeBIT in March.

    HardOCP

  5. #5
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    VIA PT890 and PCI Express

    What you are seeing below is a picture of a static demo reference motherboard from VIA sporting their PT890 chipset. It supports the Pentium 4 processors, PCI Express, & AGP. Sources in Taiwan explain to us that the new Alderwood and Grantsdale chipsets from Intel will support AGP and PCI Express also, but the luxury of supporting both will not be allowed. This puts VIA in a very advantageous position of being able to supply motherboards to the enthusiast with a much easier upgrade path to those that do not want to purchase a new videocard.

    <img src="http://images.tweaktown.com/weta/via/pt890_board.jpg">

    The longer black connector above a PCI Express X16 slot and the one just under it is an X4 connector. Of course directly above the X16 PCI Express slot is our traditional AGP4X/8X slot that is soon to be a legacy technology. The PT890 will be announced at CeBIT in March.

    HardOCP

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