Intel 845 Chipset Review & Motherboard Roundup: September 2001by Anand Lal Shimpi on September 11, 2001 10:38 AM EST
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In spite of the fact that we, along with a number of other sites, have already brought you performance figures on Intel's 845 chipset, and in spite of the fact that boards have been on sale for weeks now, today is the official launch date for the i845.
For those of you that aren't familiar with it, the i845 was formerly known as the Brookdale chipset. The 845 is a Pentium 4 chipset and mainly differs from its older brother, the i850, in its support for regular SDRAM. As we mentioned in our Computex 2001 Coverage, the 845 chipset actually features a memory controller that supports both regular SDRAM and DDR SDRAM. Unfortunately, Intel is only allowing motherboard manufacturers to release boards with PC100/133 SDRAM support.
Although we've heard many explanations for the reason why Intel would wait until 2002 for the release of the DDR 845 motherboards, a big reason seems to be that Intel honestly does not see much room for DDR in the desktop market. Intel's memory roadmaps have consistently shown PC133 SDRAM on the low end and RDRAM servicing the mid-range to high end of the market. The only room for DDR with the Pentium 4 in Intel's mind is in the mid-range of the market if RDRAM is unable to come down enough in pricing. With the current pricing on RDRAM, it is doubtful that Intel even sees a reason to go forward with allowing a DDR 845 motherboard to be released.
In many ways it's a shame that the first 845 motherboards don't offer DDR SDRAM support, since the chipset itself is one of Intel's most advanced solutions, ever.