COMDEX 2001 Summary
ECS, VIA Technologies and Abit
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After the success of the SiS735 board from ECS, the K7S5A, ECS was eager to meet with me and discuss their future plans for a SiS 745 motherboard. They assured me that they have been listening to the reviewers and are putting many more overclocking features in their 745-based K7S6A motherboard. If they can keep the speed and reliability of the SiS735 board and add the overclocking features that kept it from becoming the mainstream winner before, I believe that ECS will definitely have a winner on their hands.
My meeting with VIA was short, sweet and to the point. While VIA themselves didn’t give me any word on the new upcoming AMD chipset, from varying manufacturer’s I was able to learn about the KT333 that is still in its beginning stages of development. In fact, this may not even be left as the official name of the chipset as AMD is having difficulty coping with a DDR333 market for their products. All indications are pointing to a February or March release of this chipset. Don’t be expecting retail boards until at least another month or two after that, however.
Abit had one of the larger booths on the show floor of any of the motherboard manufacturers. In fact, they were one of only a few that were located in the convention center at all, as most were located down the strip in the Venetian resort and Sands center.
Abit showed off the KR7-RAID motherboard based on the KT266A chipset. I was told it would be available ‘real soon’ and I should have samples within the next couple weeks.
Another board that was kind of a surprise was the KS7-RAID, based on the SiS745 chipset. This is the first time in a while I can remember Abit doing a SiS chipset motherboard. The release date for it is in mid to late January.
Abit is also hard at work on two NVIDIA nForce motherboards, which were tentatively named NV-42 and NV-22 (420 and 220 chipsets). Abit was still deciding whether or not the NV-22 was even going to be released as retail product because of its NV-42 big brother.
The long awaited WA-2A motherboard, based on the AMD 760-MPX chipset was being displayed. I was quoted as having a December release date, and I would expect this just before Christmas. Specs on it include 8 GB of memory, AGP Pro, Ultra 160 SCSI, two 64-bit/66 MHz PCI slots and four 32-bit/33 MHz PCI slots.
Abit is also coming in swinging at the graphics market with a full line of GeForce 3 Ti video cards.