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DDR For Pentium III - VIA's Apollo Pro 266 Chipset

VIA's Apollo Pro 266 Chipset

VIA has not exactly been particularly quick with the release of a DDR-chipset. While at VIA's booth at Computex 2000 (June 2000) DDR had been all over the place and the officially announcement of VIA's first DDR-chipset goes back some hefty 4 months, it took until 2001 that VIA was finally able to join the DDR-bandwagon and team up with the other two DDR-chipset providers AMD and ALi.

It is less of a surprise to see VIA launching their Pentium III DDR-solution before the only recently announced Athlon DDR-solution 'Apollo KT266'. As much as VIA may commit to AMD and its processors, as much it is aware of the fact that the majority of sold microprocessors are still carrying the Intel-logo. VIA wants to make money and so it decided to introduce its DDR-chipset for Pentium III first, just as it supplied its first PC133-chipset for Pentium III and not for Athlon as well.

With the name 'Apollo Pro 266' VIA is obviously not trying to give the impression as if this new chipset is particularly different to its predecessor that went by the name of 'Apollo Pro 133'. In fact, the specs don't really look so much different. The major improvement is the support of PC266 (or PC2100, which means the same) DDR memory and the support of ATA100. The latter isn't even that special, because the Apollo Pro 133 chipset was already able to offer this feature once a board would come equipped with the 686B south bridge chip instead of the initial 686A chip, which only supports ATA66.