Intel 440BX vs VIA Apollo Pro Chipset Comparisonby Anand Lal Shimpi on August 17, 1998 12:57 PM EST
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|Our lives are full of choices, what kind of shoes to wear, what kind of food we'll eat, paper or plastic and so on and so forth. When we have these choices present we often take them for granted, however when one or more of them is taken away from us, we tend to rant and rave until we get them back. Much like a group of two-year-olds wanting their confiscated toy returned, most hardware enthusiasts wanted their chipset options back when migrating to the Slot-1 platform. Unfortunately this desire was blatantly denied to us all by none other than Intel who tightly held on to their patent rights for the Slot-1 platform (processors & chipsets), luckily, with bold and dedicated legal teams, two companies have managed to pry open the market from the clenched fists of Intel. The two companies are none other than Acer Labs Incorporated who is on the verge of releasing their Slot-1 chipset, and more relevant to this article, VIA Technologies, who has just started shipping their Slot-1 chipset, the VIA Apollo Pro.|
If the history of computer hardware has taught us nothing, it has at least taught us to never jump blindly on to a moving train...the train in this case being the Apollo Pro chipset. With Intel's 440BX chipset already proven in the industry, especially with it carrying the support of the largest desktop microprocessor manufacturer on the face of this planet, what reason is there (other than to spite Intel) to pursue a newcomer to the Pentium II chipset market? Regardless of what many may think, there is a reason. Let's take a look at these two contenders as AnandTech compares the Intel 440BX to the VIA Apollo Pro in this ongoing clash of the titans.
Dating back to the almost faint memories we all have of the initial battle of the chipsets which most of us experienced during the days of the Socket-7 chipsets, Intel and VIA have seemingly almost always been at each other's throats. Intel boasted overall acceptance and relatively flawless stability with their 430TX chipset while VIA brought new options of larger cacheable memory areas and official support for non-Intel CPU's with their VP2 chipset. The basis for most comparisons during those days fell upon the lines of cacheable memory areas as well as performance on non-Intel processor systems, and it that same basis which the comparison between the BX and Apollo Pro chipset cannot be placed upon for obvious reasons. With Pentium II systems, the cacheable memory area depends entirely upon the processor since the L2 cache is located on the processor card itself, effectively eliminating the first part of that statement, and as far as performance on non-Intel processor systems is concerned, the lack of any non-Intel Slot-1 processors eliminates that clause. So how do we compare the chipsets? There's no better place to start than with the chipset specifications.