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The first ever mainboard based on VIA PT880 core-logic has just shown up in Japanese retail stores. At just above $100, MSI and VIA are offering nearly premier level of performance and features.

Looks like VIA Technologies – one of the world’s most influential core-logic designers – who is in the doldrums these days is trying to convince customers to choose VIA by offering extremely low pricing on its chipsets allowing mainboard makers to market VIA-based mainboards at very affordable price-points. Generally, price is a weapon that helped VIA to fight one of its main rivals – Intel Corporation – in the past and may help the Taipei, Taiwan-based firm to come back once again.

Without any surprises, the first mainboard to emerge in retail is the first mainboard utilizing the PT880 core-logic ever announced – MSI PT880 Neo-FISR. The new product supports processors with 400/533/800MHz Quad Pumped Bus, features 4 DIMM slots for up to 4GB of PC2100/PC2700/3200 memory (dual-channel memory bus support: memory modules used should be identical and installed in pairs), an AGP 8x, 5 PCI slots, 2-channel ATA-33/66/100, 2-channel Serial ATA-150 with RAID, 10/100/1000Mb/s Ethernet controller, 6-channel AC'97 sound, FireWire, USB 2.0, FireWire and so on. An important peculiarity of MSI PT880 is FMB 1.5 support allowing installation of Intel Pentium 4 “Prescott” processors, Akiba PC Hotline reported.

MSI PT880 Neo-FISR in Japan costs from $102 to $135, what is very affordable, given that there is Gigabit Ethernet controller installed. Furthermore, retailers usually charge more for the novelties, while in Tokyo, Japan, hardware costs higher than in the rest of the world. All the mentioned things lead us to assume that VIA PT880 mainboards will be extremely cost-effective for their performance and features.

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