We shouldn't be too disappointed by the results we saw, although they show that there is hardly any justification for an upgrade from a PC133-platform to a DDR-platform for Pentium III. In fact, there is hardly any sensible justification for the purchase of a Pentium III processor in the first place anymore, because today AMD's Athlon processors outperform Pentium III at a significantly lower price point. This means that upgrading a Pentium III system on a budget can only lead to the conclusion to switch over to an AMD-platform.
Pentium III was unable to take advantage of RDRAM and thus it hardly gains any performance with DDR-SDRAM as well. Instead of telling you that it would make sense to rather buy Pentium III plus Apollo Pro 266 and DDR memory once it meets the same price points as i815 and PC133 memory, I'd suggest to forget about getting a new Pentium III processor altogether. If you want excellent performance at a good price it's close to impossible getting around buying an AMD Athlon system.
I think it's sweet that VIA has released Apollo Pro 266. It shows VIA's sportsmanship and its feeling for marketing, trying hard to ride the DDR-pony. By all means of sensibility I cannot see any need for this chipset. If I had a bunch of engineers to occupy, I'd rather try to design a chipset with DDR-memory support for a processor that is actually able to take advantage of this memory. The release of Apollo Pro 266 and all the developing dollars that went into it seem a huge waste. Now VIA will have to start the marketing machine to convince innocent customers of its hidden virtues. For me, Apollo Pro 266 joins the line of other pointless Pentium III chipsets, such as i820. I doubt that Intel made an awful lot of money on i820, but some of those chipsets were indeed sold. Maybe VIA can even sell more Apollo Pro 266 chips, because after all DDR-memory isn't as ridiculously overpriced as RDRAM was in the early days of i820 and i840. It might still be really cool to own a Pentium III system that is equipped with the funky DDR-SDRAM. Still the fact remains, Pentium III ain't gonna gain nothin' from it .
If you are the owner of a Pentium III system with a BX, Apollo Pro 133 or i815 platform then let me assure you that VIA's Apollo Pro 266 is nothing that should make you get your knickers in a twist. Keep your actual system or upgrade to an Athlon. If DDR, then with some sense please!
Hello VIA! What we really need is a DDR-chipset for Pentium 4! This processor is able to show what power is hidden inside DDR-SDRAM. That's why Intel and Rambus don't want a DDR-chipset for this processor for the time being. The only alternative is an AMD processor that will be able to make use of high memory bandwidth. However, it doesn't seem as if AMD will be able to pull that off for the next few quarters. That's too bad for the 'Team-DDR' and it will make Rambus feel a whole lot better.