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Swansong for the XP Era: VIA KT880 Chipset Challenges nForce2

KT880 In Detail

The clear layout of the chipset diagram obviates the need for any extensive explanations here. Among the differences vis-à-vis the KT600 are the chipset's memory interface that supports two DDR400 channels, as well as the Gigabit Ethernet controller option, which now doesn't cost much more than than 100 MBit/s options and offer that much more network performance when it counts.

The KT880 is based on a BGA chip with 806 contacts, while the KT600 gets by with just 664 pins. The protocol between the Northbridge and the familiar VT8237 Southbridge is unchanged: VIA calls it the Ultra V-Link interconnect; it has a basic clock rate of 66 MHz and can deliver top speeds of up 533 MB/s.

With its MuTIOL, SiS already features 1 GB/s and Intel, too, is set to make the switch to 1 GB/s each way with its new chipset generation (erstwhile speeds 266 MB/s at 865 and 875).