Computex 2001 - Intel & VIA Pentium 4 DDR Chipsets Revealedby Anand Lal Shimpi on June 4, 2001 12:40 AM EST
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i845 Performance and DDR
The Intel 845 chipset, formerly known as Brookdale, has been seen all over the show floor. There isn't too much to say about the version being displayed everywhere since it only offers PC133 SDRAM support as we reported in earlier coverage. The truly interesting thing about the i845 chipset is that in its current state it supports DDR SDRAM. Intel has simply not allowed motherboard manufacturers to design DDR i845 motherboards until they give the go ahead.
Iwill's i845 PC133 SDRAM board
If you're wondering why, the reason is simple; Intel has an agreement with Rambus in place that limits what they can do with DDR chipsets. Through some very heavy negotiations Intel has managed to get Rambus to allow them to promote the i845 with DDR support as early as January 1, 2002. Our sources tell us that Intel will continue to push for an even earlier release of DDR i845 platforms but as of now, motherboard manufacturers can't show off or promote DDR i845 motherboards until January 1, 2002. The DDR i845 chipset will still be called the i845 since it is essentially the same chip.
Stability of the i845 chipset, even with DDR SDRAM, is supposed to be incredible. motherboard manufacturers are already claiming it to be the new BX chipset and are expecting it to last for approximately two years in the market. There won't be any DDR replacements for the i845 anytime according to Intel's roadmap.
We weren't able to get a picture of the few DDR i845 solutions floating around the show but we'll work on snagging you one if possible.
In terms of performance, we were able to get some rough estimates of how the i845 stacks up to the i850. Remember that these aren't by any means official benchmarks and we can't even disclose test parameters, just relative performance metrics at this point.
As you can see, early performance indicators are still putting the i850 at the highest performance level for the Pentium 4. We've always speculated as to how well DDR SDRAM would do against RDRAM on the Pentium 4 platform, it seems as if the Pentium 4 may actually notice the difference between the 2.1GB/s peak of DDR and the 3.2GB/s of bandwidth offered by RDRAM.