Intel's 800MHz FSB & AMD's 400MHz FSB

Obviously to take advantage of the new 800MHz FSB, Intel will be releasing new chipsets. We mentioned yesterday that Springdale would be the chipset to provide 800MHz FSB support but now we've got much more accurate information on exactly where things stand:

Intel Chipsets in 2003
Chipset:
Springdale-P
Springdale-PE
Springdale-G
Canterwood
Release Timeframe
Q2-2003
Q2-2003
Q2-2003
Q2-2003
FSB Support
533/400MHz
800/533MHz
800/533MHz
800/533MHz
Memory Support
Dual DDR266/333
Dual DDR333/400
Dual DDR333/400
Dual DDR333/400
Graphics Support
AGP 8X
AGP 8X
AGP 8X
845GE Graphics core
AGP 8X
Additional Features
Replaces 845PE Chipset
Replaces 845PE Chipset
Replaces 845G/GE Chipset
Replaces 850E Chipset
"Turbo Mode"

What you should take away from this table is that all of Intel's mainstream chipsets by the end of Q2 2003 will be Dual Channel DDR solutions. The 845E may actually take over the entry-level segment as it has a much lower pin-count than 845PE and 845GE, but for everything else there's dual channel DDR.

As you can see here, Canterwood will be the replacement chipset for the 850E - not Springdale. Springdale-PE will be an excellent performer but apparently Canterwood's "turbo mode" means that it is highly optimized for DDR400 performance and should yield noticeably higher performance than Springdale-PE.

The Springdale-G with integrated graphics does not seem to have a new graphics core although most are calling it "updated." The only reason there is to call it updated is that it now has a wider memory bus courtesy of the dual channel DDR. There may be some minor tweaks to the core but we see no indication of major changes.

Once again, all of these chipsets will be available in Q2 next year.

Today AMD announced the name of their ClawHammer processor - Athlon 64. At the same keynote they had nForce2 motherboards running with a 400MHz FSB. We just received confirmation (although AMD won't announce it until much later) that Barton will be shipping with a 400MHz FSB and the performance boost from the new FSB is pretty healthy. On current processors the use of a 400MHz FSB will improve performance anywhere from 0 - 15% on the nForce2 platform, obviously depending on the benchmark.

We also received full confirmation that VIA's KT400A will in fact be a dual channel DDR solution. The boards should be ready in January and we'll be able to see if VIA has what it takes to out-tweak NVIDIA.

Index Athlon XP 64 Running Smoothly @ 1.4GHz

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