Rounding out the solution

The combination of DDR SDRAM and an increased FSB should give the Athlon a hefty boost in performance.  But what else does the AMD 760 chipset offer?

The AMD 760 chipset is basically made up of two parts, the AMD 761 North Bridge and the 766 South Bridge.  The AMD 761 North Bridge provides the DDR SDRAM and 133MHz FSB support we talked about earlier in addition to AGP 4X support which hasn’t really been of much use as we’ve seen from our benchmarks on the KX133 and KT133 chipsets from VIA. 

The AMD 766 South Bridge adds Ultra ATA-100 support to the list of features, but other than that the features of the South Bridge are pretty much what we have been used to on the VIA boards. 

What is most likely going to happen will be that motherboard manufacturers will use the AMD 761 North Bridge in combination with the VIA 686B South Bridge, since the latter is pin compatible with the AMD 766 and will most likely carry a cheaper price. 

From AMD’s perspective, this isn’t really bothering them as they have never been nor will they ever be in the chipset business.  They are here to make processors, and the only reason they continue to produce chipsets is so that they can provide a platform that supplies the technology their CPUs need to run optimally.  If it were left up to VIA or ALi the Athlon would not have DDR SDRAM support this early, while we can expect their solutions to follow, AMD is definitely the first. 

This is the same approach they took with the AMD 750 chipset.  They released the AMD 750 so the Athlon would have a platform to run on then they let VIA take over with the KX133 chipset.  The AMD 760 chipset will carry the Athlon with its support for DDR SDRAM until either ALi or VIA provides a solution that’s ready to take over. 

New Chipset, New FSB, New CPUs The Board
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