Early Athlon Motherboard Review

AMD North Bridge And VIA South Bridge

Due to the close cooperation between AMD and VIA, there's the possibility to use VIA's south bridge with AMD750's north-bridge as well. FIC is doing this on their Athlon-board and I know that Asus is doing the same on their 'phantom product' as well. The theoretical advantage of this procedure is to avoid possible incompatibility-issues between peripherals and the AMD750-south bridge. You will find out in the review however, that we haven't seen any problems with either south-bridges.

VIA's KX133

A bit more than a week ago VIA announced their very own Athlon-chipset and it looks very promising. It is supposed to include AGP4x and PC133, which puts it ahead of the AMD750. This is not surprising, since AMD's strategy never included the shipment of their own chipset. AMD wants other chipset-makers to build Athlon-chipsets and they are happy to share the technology. The AMD750 arose from the pure necessity to have a chipset ready for Athlon's launch. Once Athlon is being recognized AMD will hand over the chipset business to VIA, SiS and ALi.

It's important to be aware of this situation, because this will mean that we'll have soon Athlon motherboards with much cooler features. ATA66 is already now included into AMD750, something you won't find on BX-motherboards, but the future Athlon-motherboards will include AGP4x and PC133, maybe soon even DDR-SDRAM or RDRAM-support as well.