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Soltek Computer is about to unveil its SL-KT880E-RL mainboard based on yet unannounced VIA KT880 core-logic – VIA’s last and final try in the Socket A market.

VIA KT880 core-logic was designed by VIA in order to compete with NVIDIA nForce2 for the fastest Socket A chipset ever developed. The company did not need to make a new product from the ground up since it already has a dual-channel Pentium 4 chipset called PT880 shipping now. All VIA had to do was to change the PSB logic in its PT880 for EV-6 bus used by AMD Athlon microprocessors. Looks like the company has managed to accomplish this task relatively flawlessly, as there are mainboards from Soltek and ABIT just around the corner.

The new SL-KT880E-RL mainboard from Soltek will probably become a yet another feature-rich product for Socket A microprocessors. Even though AMD Athlon XP chips are now under shadow of their 64-bit brethren, the vast majority of AMD chips supplied in the channel now are still the good-old Athlon XP CPUs, therefore, some companies may still adress that market.

The feature-list of the novelty looks as follows:

  • Supports Socket A AMD Athlon XP processors with 200/266/333/400MHz FSB;
  • VIA KT880 chipset, including VT8237 I/O controller;
  • 2 DIMM slots for up to 4GB of PC2100, PC2700 or up to 2GB of PC3200 memory; Note that for dual-channel configurations you have to install a pair of identical memory modules;
  • 5 PCI slots and 1 AGP 8x slot;
  • 2-channel ATA-33/66/100/133 integrated controller;
  • 2 Serial ATA-150 ports with RAID support;
  • 10/100Mb/s Ethernet VT6103 controller from VIA;
  • 8 USB 2.0 ports;
  • 6-channel VIA VT1617 audio solution;
  • Overclocking, tuning functions;
  • ATX Form Factor.

Pricing and actual availability of Soltek’s SL-KT880E-RL were not issued by sources close to the company, but given that the mainboard has all its components installed, I would expect the part to emerge in the market quite soon. Pay attention that Soltek does not mention about QBM support by the mainboard.

Currently we have two indications about KT880-based mainboards from Soltek and ABIT. Given that the chipset is not announced fomrally, this is a nice sign for VIA from mainboard makers. There are still concerns both about customer acceptance of VIA KT880 chipset because it is coming just too late for this kind of product. On the other hand, VIA’s main weapon has always been agressive pricing – it may help the company this time as well.


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