VIA PT880 Chipset Preview

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VIA PT880 Chipset Preview
A Performance Preview of VIA's Dual-Channel P4 Chipset

By: Chris Angelini
December 8, 2003

3DMark03 v340
Synthetic Gaming

3DMark03 might be a controversial piece of software when you're comparing graphics cards from different vendors, but when you standardize with a single RADEON 9800 XT, the synthetic gaming benchmark suddenly becomes useful for comparing platforms.  The new 340 patch reportedly eliminates  special optimizations.  However, for this sort of evaluation, we're more concerned about the change in performance between platforms, not the drop in a graphics card's score.

Even at 1024x768, the standard resolution 3DMark03 uses to garner its averages, 3D graphics is emphasized ahead of any other system component.  Perhaps that's why there is very little variation in that first score, the overall benchmark result.  The second set of numbers is a bit more telling, as 865PE takes a surprise first-place finish, 875P grasps second, and VIA's PT880 falls into third place.  Once again, the scores fall within three percent of a each other, making it hard to declare an overall performance victor.
Simulated Gaming Performance
AquaMark 3 is a newcomer to the benchmarking scene.  Its value hasn't yet been thoroughly explored, though it does seem to be an effective gauge of 3D performance.  And interestingly, it appears to favor the Intel platforms.  In fact, we see the largest performance gap yet in the CPU benchmark, where ABIT's AI7 motherboard beats VIA's PT880 by nearly six percent. It isn't significant enough to warrant caution, but it's enough to put the VIA flagship in third place once again.

SPEC, Quake III, and Conclusion  

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