Review: AMD's DDR chipset and the new Athlon

The AMD 760 chipset in detail

The AMD 760 is AMD's first socket/slot A chipset with DDR-SDRAM support. The successor of the AMD 750 is again equally suitable for both Athlon and Duron processors.

The chipset consists of two components: the North Bridge AMD 761 comprises the AGP, PCI and memory controllers in addition to the CPU interface. The new South Bridge is called AMD 766. Key innovations include the two UltraDMA/100-compliant EIDE interfaces and four USB ports. In addition, two serial ports, one parallel port and the floppy controller are integrated here.

AMD 760: North Bridge 761 (left) and South Bridge 766 (right) of the DDR chipset for the Athlon.
AMD 760: North Bridge 761 (left) and South Bridge 766 (right) of the DDR chipset for the Athlon.

Equipped with DDR-SDRAM, the AMD 760 can handle clock speeds of both 200 and 266 MHz. PC100/133 SDRAM is no longer supported. The chipset is able to manage a maximum of 4 GB RAM. Four DIMM slots are available.

The FSB of the AMD 760 may also be clocked at 266 MHz in addition to the usual 200 MHz (DDR). Whether or not the chipset only supports the synchronous operation of memory and processor (at a clock speed of 200 MHz or 266 MHz for FSB and memory bus) or whether various combinations may be used, was not confirmed by AMD Germany when interviewed by tecChannel.de.

Forward march (at the same clock speed): memory and frontside bus are each clocked at 266 MHz, using DDR technology.
Forward march (at the same clock speed): memory and frontside bus are each clocked at 266 MHz, using DDR technology.

However, AMD did not integrate sound and modem features in the 760 chipset according to the AC/MC97 standard. These features have long since become standard with chip manufacturers such as Intel and VIA.

In addition to AMD, ALi and VIA have already announced DDR chipsets for Athlon/Duron processors. However, no test mainboards with these chipsets have been available so far.

DDR chipset comparison for AMD processors: North Bridge

Chipset

AMD AMD-760

ALi ALiMAGiK 1

VIA Apollo KT266

North Bridge

AMD-761

M1651

to be announced

Slot / Socket

Slot A / Socket A

Slot A / Socket A

Slot A / Socket A

FSB-Clock (MHz)

200/266 DDR

200/266 DDR

200/266 DDR

Memory Clock (MHz)

200/266 DDR

66/100/133 SDR and 200/266 DDR

66/100/133 SDR and 200/266 DDR

Max. Memory (MByte)

4096

3072

4096

Memory Type

DDR-SDRAM

SDRAM, DDR-SDRAM

SDRAM, VC-SDRAM, DDR-SDRAM

AGP

4x

4x

4x

DDR chipset comparison for AMD processors: South Bridge

South Bridge

AMD-766

ALi M1535D+

VIA VT8233

UDMA100

Yes

Yes

Yes

USB-Ports

4

6

6

AC97 Audio/Modem

No

Yes

Yes

Legacy I/O

Yes

Yes

Yes

Keyboard Controller

Yes

Yes

Yes