Chip set availability holds back DDR Athlon boards

While major Taiwanese makers were quick to announce motherboards in tandem with AMD's Monday announcement of the first PC chip set featuring support for its Athlon processors and high-speed DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic random access memory), limited availability of the 760 chip set is likely to hold back near-term shipments, company officials and industry sources here said.

Asustek Computer and First International Computer (FIC) were among the first to rush out announcements about their planned 760-based motherboards. Other major motherboard makers here, including Giga-Byte Technology and Micro-Star International are also readying similar offerings.

Due to limited chip set supplies, however, FIC does not expect its 1st Mainboard AD11 motherboard for desktop PCs to be widely available to distributors until late this year or January, said a spokesman at the Taipei-based company.

Asustek, meanwhile, said in a statement that its A7M266 board will start shipping "in quantity" during the current quarter, but did not provide details on when volume will ramp up.

AMD is focused on supplying its major PC vendor customers first, according to the FIC spokesman.

On Monday, AMD hinted as much when it said that broad availability of systems based on the new devices is expected by early next year, while its launch partners, Micron Electronics in the US and NEC Computers International BV in Europe, would be the first to ship systems in November. Both Asustek and FIC, meanwhile, have designed their boards around a hybrid chip set consisting of the 761 North Bridge half of the 760 paired with Via Technologies's 686B South Bridge chip. Sources close to the companies said that this is nothing to be surprised about, as AMD's South Bridge half of the 760 is identical to the Via component.

The AD11 and A7M266 are both ATX form-factor boards designed for use in desktop PCs. Built around the same key circuitry, they also have similar feature sets, including support for 4x AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port), an ATA-100 hard-drive interface and up to four USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports.

Asustek's AGP slot also supports AGP Pro cards and the board also features five PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) expansion slots for add-on cards and an on-board 10/100Mbps Ethernet controller from 3Com and can also be supplied with optional six-channel audio hardware from C-Media Electronics.

FIC, meanwhile, said that the Via 686B's built-in audio capability can be disabled in the BIOS, allowing the user to add a higher performance audio card.

While FIC's AD11 supports up to 1GB of PC1600 or PC2100 DDR SDRAM via two DIMM (dual inline memory module) slots, Asustek said its board can house up to 2GB of memory.

While the 760 chip set is designed to support the 266MHz front-side bus speed of the latest high-end Athlon processors, advanced users are known to often tweak the bus speed higher, a practice known as overclocking. The Asustek board's system bus can also be overclocked to as high as 360MHz, a sure sign that the company is aiming the board at hardcore PC enthusiasts. FIC is also bundling AD11 with its Overclock Partner and other software applications.

Pricing for both boards was not available, and is likely to be decided by the companies' respective distributors.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Terho Uimonen

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?