Since its introduction in early January of this year, Intel's 845 DDR chipsets have been very popular among a wide range of people in the hardware industry. Enthusiasts, OEM's, and small, medium, and large businesses have taken a liking to Intel's 845 series of DDR chipsets. There's no denying that 845-based motherboards have been very reliable and high-performing since their inception.

Intel has released quite a few 845 chipsets in 2002. In fact, after today's official announcement, Intel will have released seven different 845 chipsets this year alone, not including the first 845 chipset that was introduced late last year (PC133-only). These chipsets include the 845D, 845E, 845G and 845GL not to mention today's announcements of the 845PE, 845GE and 845GV.

While most users like to have lots of choices, motherboard makers haven't been too happy with the situation. After designing boards based around the 845E and 845G chipsets introduced this past May, motherboard makers now have to turn around and produce 845PE and 845GE boards, which means that they will more than likely have excess inventory of those 845E/G motherboards.

While some might argue that motherboard makers should just then not support 845PE/GE, this wouldn't make any business sense as smaller competitors would adopt 845PE/GE and gain the advantage of having official support for DDR333 and Hyper-Threading. This is actually more reason for motherboard makers to be angry with Intel; 845E and 845G/GL-based motherboards (minus certain A-stepping 845G boards) will support HyperTreading with a BIOS update eventually, and 845G motherboards already unofficially support DDR333.

What motherboard manufacturers are doing however is they are delaying the release of their 845PE and 845GE motherboards until later this year in order to get rid of excess inventory. Because of this we were only able to roundup a handful of motherboards for Intel's launch today; luckily the contenders were impressive enough to make it into this initial review and roundup.

The Chipsets

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