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This revamped memory controller is the fruit of VIA's "performance driven design" initiative. We'll see whether it lives up to the name.
OK, so I should have pulled off the heatsink. But look: cool logo!
I should mention that our P4XB S P4X266A test motherboard is a VIA branded consumer product, one of the first out of VIA's new Platform Solutions Division. VIA created the PSD in order to make sure products like the P4X266A could reach the market even in the face of obstacles like legal threats from Intel. Of course, that's not the only reason. Intel has done the same thing, supplying the market with Intel branded motherboards, for quite a while now. Doing so establishes a nice baseline for products based on one's chipsets, so it makes sense.
P4XB S was not stable for me at 1T command rate with a CAS 2 Micron DIMM, nor a Corsair, nor a Micron DDR333 DIMM. Once I resorted to the 2T command setting and loosened up some of the other timings settings in the BIOS, the P4XB S ran fine at CAS 2. I assume the board won't ship to consumers with a BIOS that defaults to a 1T command rate.
However, the changes make perfect sense. VIA substantially upgraded its KT266 chipset with the improved memory controller in the KT266A. The P4X266A brings that same enhanced memory controller to VIA's Pentium 4 offering. Tighter timings in this controller help increase bandwidth and lower latencies. Air Jordan 4 Black Green
VIA's cheesy block diagram shows just where the enhancements fit in
VIA shipped the board out to reviewers with a "performance BIOS" set to default to 1T command rate for memory. Pure and simple, the Air Jordan 6 Infrared Kanye West
has an IOQ depth of 12, just like Intel's 845, and it can keep up to 13 instructions "in flight" at once. VIA claims the P4X266A incorporates "support for future bus speeds" 533MHz, which is the next stop on the Pentium 4 bus speed bandwagon.
Last and probably least, in addition to the new P4X266A north bridge, there is a new VT8233A south bridge chip that supports ATA/133 devices. Unfortunately our test motherboard came equipped with only the VT8233 south bridge that we have any ATA/133 drives to test with just yet, anyhow.
Pentium 4 DDR chipsets compared
The P4X266A also includes an enhanced processor bus, which should help the P4X266A keep up as Pentium 4 clock speeds rise. This new processor bus Air Jordan 10 Nyc On Feet
The P4XB is a surprisingly solid first effort from VIA PSD. It includes three DIMM slots, five PCI slots, a range of menu drive overclocking options, a secondary Promise IDE controller, and C Media's popular 8738 audio chip. Component placement on the board is sensible, and I didn't find any major annoyances when working Air Jordan 10 Chicago with it, save one.
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