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Slot 1 Chipset Comparison

VIA Apollo Pro

Today the Apollo MVP3 is one of the most popular socket 7 chipsets on the market. Of course VIA now wants to introduce an attractive chipset for Pentium II or Celeron CPUs as well.

VT82C691 North Bridge

  • 492-pin BGA package
  • Supports single Pentium II or Celeron
  • 66 / 100 MHz FSB
  • AGP v1.0 and PCI v2.1 compliant
  • Supports SideBand Addressing (SBA) mode
  • Memory controller supports SDRAM, EDO and FPM memory, max. 1 GB RAM, ECC
  • 4/8 memory banks (double/single sided)
  • max. 5 PCI busmaster slots

VT82C596 South Bridge

  • 324-pin BGA package
  • PCI-to-ISA bridge
  • PC98 compliant
  • ACPI 1.0 and APM 1.2 compliant
  • USB controller, two ports
  • Integrated PCI EIDE controllers (PIO mode 4 or UltraDMA/66)
  • ISA bus interface, IRQ and DMA controller, timer, real time clock and keyboard and PS/2 mouse controller

The chipset does also support EDO or FPM memory which theoretically allows to use your EDO memory with 66 MHz CPUs. But I doubt that many manufacturers will equip their boards with SIMM sockets. Also EDO DIMMs were not very common and thus rare. The final release of this chipset includes an asynchronous memory mode, which makes it possible to use a 100 MHz FSB CPU with 66 MHz memory. The only board which does support this is the Tekram P6Pro-A5. More later.

The chipset does have one technical advantage compared with the Intel or SiS chipsets: It already supports UltraDMA/66. It's questionable whether this is a feature which should be present today, but of course it's no disadvantage.