VIA doubles up for PT880

Today, VIA unveiled the PT880, a new core logic chipset for Pentium 4 processors. In addition to support for AGP 8X and an 800MHz front-side bus, the PT880 also has a dual-channel memory controller:
The VIA PT880 introduces the revolutionary DualStream64 memory controller, providing lightening fast access to system memory to enable unparalleled performance in power-hungry 3D graphics and multimedia applications, so providing the optimum platform for today's most demanding PC enthusiasts and professionals.

DualStream64 achieves impressive memory bandwidths of up to 4,800 MB/s by harnessing intuitive technologies such as an enhanced data prefetch protocol, improved memory branch prediction with a larger on-chip branch table, and tighter read/write turn-around for improved clock timings.

The PT880 will be paired with VIA's VT8237 south bridge in high-end boards from ASUS, ABIT, Gigabyte, MSI, and possibly other manufacturers.

With two memory channels feeding the bandwidth-hungry Pentium 4 processor, the PT880 could very well hold its own against Intel's current Canterwood chipset. VIA's PT800 chipset is already an impressive performer with only a single channel of DDR400 memory, so it should be interesting to see what the PT880 can do with two memory channels. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that VIA has implemented a CSA-like interface for Gigabit Ethernet in the PT880, so Canterwood should at least salvage a win in the networking department.

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