Chipset Specifications Comparison

Common Name Intel 440BX AGPSet VIA Apollo Pro Chipset
Chipset Packaging Number of chips 1 (82443BX) 1 (VT82C691 North Bridge)
Packaging Type 1 x 492-pin BGA 1 x 492-pin BGA
CPU Support Number of CPUs 2 (SMP) 1
AMD CPUs Supported N/A N/A
Cyrix CPUs Supported N/A N/A
Intel CPUs Supported Pentium II Pentium II, Pentium Pro
Cache Type N/A on chip N/A on chip
Maximum Supported Size N/A on chip N/A on chip
Maximum Cacheable DRAM Area N/A on chip N/A on chip
Memory Maximum DRAM Supported 512MB (SDRAM); 1024MB (EDO) 1GB
BEDO DRAM Read Timings (100MHz) N/A N/A
EDO DRAM Read Timings (100MHz) X-2-2-2 X-2-2-2
FPM DRAM Read Timings (100MHz) N/A X-4-4-4
SDRAM Read Timings (100MHz) X-1-1-1 X-1-1-1
Data Path to Memory 64-bits 64-bits
ECC Support Yes Yes
Hard Disk Controller Chip PIIX4 (82371AB Controller) VT82C596 South Bridge
Bus Mastering Support Yes Yes
UltraDMA Support Yes Yes
Max. Theoretical Transfer Rate PIO Mode 5/DMA Mode 3 (33.3MB/S) PIO Mode 5/DMA Mode 3 (33.3MB/S)
PCI Interface Supported PCI Bus Speeds 30, 33 MHz 30, 33 MHz
Async. PCI Bus Speed No No
PCI Specification 2.1 (66 MHz max.) 2.1 (66 MHz max.)
Power Management PC97 Compliance Yes Yes
Suspend to Disk Yes Yes
HDD Power Down Yes Yes
Modem Wakeup Yes Yes
System Suspend Yes Yes
Video AGP Support Yes (66/133) Yes (66/133)
Unified Memory Architecture No No
Peripheral Support USB Support Yes Yes
Plug and Play Port Yes Yes
Officially Supported Bus Speeds 66, 100 MHz 66, 100 MHz
Unofficially Achieved Bus Speeds 112, 124, 133 MHz 112, 124, 133 MHz

Notice any similarities? You should, the two chipsets are virtually identical in terms of features that are normally used for comparison. They both officially support the 100MHz Front Side Bus frequency, as well as other novelties such as the Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) and SDRAM. One feature unique to the Apollo Pro is its support for FPM DRAM, which was normally thought impossible with the 100MHz FSB...until now. How can FPM DRAM, originally intended to be run at a 66MHz FSB setting, possibly cope with the 100MHz setting on the Apollo Pro chipset? Easily. By allowing for pseudo-synchronous operation of the memory bus, you can lock the frequency of the memory bus to either the FSB clock (100MHz) or the AGP clock (66MHz) much like you can on Super7 boards based upon the VIA MVP3 chipset. This enables you to re-use older PC66 SDRAM or even EDO DRAM that you have laying around, although most mainboard manufacturers will opt to go for the presence of DIMM slots exclusively on their boards, you can still use older EDO DIMMs if you happen to have them. This can decrease system cost considerably if you don't have to purchase faster SDRAM to make use of the higher FSB settings. This also brings the 112, 124, and 133MHz FSB settings within your reach even if you don't have the highest quality SDRAM.

Index Performance Comparison

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