Introduction

Over the past VIA has claimed significance dominance over nVidia in the mainboard arena, especially in the AMD platform. However, ever since nVidia came out with the nForce2 chipset VIA didn't have a good answer to compete back with this new chipset. Recently VIA answered back with the introduction of the KT400A chipset, however that wasn't long lived since everyone understood that this was merely a bridging platform to the KT 600, which officially supported 400MHz FSB.

The KT 600 chipset has a number of significant improvements from its older counterpart. The biggest selling point for this new chipset is its 400 MHz FSB support. Even though the KT400A did offer a 400MHz support most boards that made it to the market showed numerous instability issues working at this high frequency. With official support for 400MHz FSB in the new chipset we can be assured that these problems have been dealt with.

Furthermore the memory architecture has been upgraded to a "FastStream64" Memory Controller technology. As VIA says this'll reduce the memory bandwidth problems that surrounded the KT400 chipset.

All KT600 boards will come equipped with a VT8237 south bridge. This is claimed to be one of the most advanced South Bridges available on today's market. It features the first ever SATA( Serial ATA)/RAID controller integrated into the system itself. The VT8237 supports RAID 0, 1 and 0 + 1 giving users good support for RAID configurations.

In addition it supports up to four parallel ATA 133 devices giving a wide range of flexibility for mainstream or value conscious buyers. The south bridge also supports up to 8 USB 2.0 ports which is an increase of two ports from the KT400 chipset.

Below is a comparison diagram between the new KT600 chipset and the KT400A chipset.

Features
VIA Apollo KT600
VIA Apollo KT400A
North Bridge
Processor Support AMD Athlon™ XP AMD Athlon™ XP
Front Side Bus 266/333/400MHz 266/333MHz
Memory Bus 266/333/400MHz 266/333/400MHz
AGP Support AGP4X/8X AGP4X/8X
Memory Type DDR266/333/400 DDR266/333/400
Max. Memory 4.0GB 4.0GB
South Bridge
VT8237 VT8235CE
North/South Bridge Link 8X V-Link (533MB/sec) 8X V-Link (533MB/sec)
Integrated Audio VIA Vinyl Six-TRAC six- channel AC'97 audio VIA Vinyl Six-TRAC six- channel AC'97 audio
Integrated Modem MC'97 MC'97
Integrated Network Controller VIA MAC 10/100 Ethernet VIA MAC 10/100 Ethernet
PCI Devices/Slots 6 slots 6 slots
IDE Dual Channel Serial ATA directly supports two SATA devices SATAlite™ interface expands support for two additional SATA devices through optional external Serial ATA PHY Dual Channel Parallel ATA (up to 4 devices) Parallel ATA (up to 4 devices)
VIA RAID RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 0+1Supports SATA and ATA-133 standards
USB 8 ports 6 ports
Super I/O LPC Super I/O LPC Super I/O
IO APIC Yes Yes
Power Management ACPI/APM/PCI/PM

Key Features ·

  • Supports full range of AMD Athlon™ XP processors
  • 266/333/400MHz FSB settings
  • Supports up to 4.0GB DDR266/333/400 SDRAM
  • Support for AGP 4X/8X
  • 8X V-Link 533MB/s high bandwidth North/South Bridge interconnect
  • Integrated VIA Vinyl™ Six-TRAC six-channel AC'97 audio
  • Serial ATA support for up to 4 devices
  • RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 0+1 support, including Disk Striping and Disk Mirroring
  • VIA RAID Software Configuration Program (supports Windows® & Linux)
  • Parallel ATA 33/66/100/133 support for up to 4 devices
  • Support for up to 8 USB 2.0/USB 1.1 ports, UHCI compliant
  • Integrated MC'97 Modem
  • Integrated 10/100 Fast Ethernet MAC
  • Advanced power management capabilities including ACPI/OnNow
  • 664-pin BGA North Bridge
  • 539-pin BGA VT8237 South Bridge



Category: Motherboards