VIA launches KT400

— 11:23 AM on August 16, 2002

Quakecon 2002 is all about fragging and watching the new DOOM footage over and over again, but VIA is sponsoring the event and they've used it to formally launch their new KT400 chipset for AMD processors. The KT400's full specs are available over at VIA's web site, but there are a few interesting details that are worthy special attention.

  • AGP 8X support — Boards based on the KT400 chipset should be available at the same time as the Radeon 9700 and well ahead of NVIDIA's NV30, both of which make use of the latest AGP standard.
  • 8X V-Link — VIA's link between its north and south bridge chips now pushes 266MB/s of data in each direction, double that of the KT333.
  • South bridge features — USB 2.0, ATA/133, and 6-channel audio round out the VT8235 south bridge's more compelling south bridge offerings.
  • No DDR400 support — As previously reported, the KT400 chipset only officially supports DDR333 SDRAM, but an enhanced memory controller should give the chipset an incremental performance boost regardless.
DDR400 support is out because VIA can't be sure that every DDR400 module will run in every KT400 motherboard. I don't blame them for being cautious, and I'd far rather have a stable DDR333 platform than a flakey DDR400 board.

There's no mention of support for a 333MHz front side bus, which means we may see an 'A' revision of the KT400 come out if the Athlon moves over to the faster bus. Perhaps by then the quality of DDR400 modules will be consistent enough for VIA to officially support them.

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