Just last month Intel introduced the biggest leap in chipset technology we have ever seen from the giant with the 875P chipset. The 875P, formerly known as Canterwood, not only offered 800MHz FSB support but also brought to market integrated Serial ATA (with optional RAID support), a dual-channel DDR400 memory controller, and a new bus for high-speed gigabit Ethernet.

Unfortunately, all of these features come at a hefty price. The 875P chipset with the ICH5-R (Serial ATA RAID support) is priced at $53 in 1,000 unit quantities, that's $13 more per chipset than the old 850E and $25 more than the 845PE. Getting rid of the ICH5-R and replacing it with the standard ICH5 (without SATA RAID) only shaves $3 off the cost of the chipset; all in all, the 875P ends up being a very pricey solution for desktop users.

If you look at the prices of motherboards based on the 875P chipset using our own RealTime Pricing Engine, you'll see that the majority of 875P boards fall in the $180 - $207 range, with ABIT's boards coming in considerably cheaper and Gigabyte's boards selling for noticeably more. Regardless, with an average price of $198 based on our RealTime Pricing Engine we're talking about some very expensive motherboards.

Given the target market for the 875P, mainly as a replacement to the 850E, this sort of a price-premium should be expected, which is why we didn't chastise Intel at the chipset's release. What we were waiting for was the mainstream version of the 875P, codenamed Springdale, to hit the streets before passing judgment - and that's what we're here to talk about today.

Consider Springdale, now known as the Intel 865 Chipset, to be the logical successor to the 845 series of chipsets. The difference between the 875/865 relationship and what we saw with the 850E/845 however is that the 865, in theory, should offer much closer performance than the 845 did to Intel's flagship chipset. Why? Let's find out…

Springdale to the Rescue
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  • Anonymous User - Thursday, July 10, 2003 - link

    I appreciate reviews such as this. But, as a "middle ground" technical background but heavy Excel, and database manipulation user my options break out different than specified here. I am a retail buyer. Box it and sell it to me. The 865's are boxed with "middle systems", the 875's with "higher systems". If I upgrade a "middle", with larger HD and monitor, I am within $30 of the higher system "out of the box". In no way is this a layman's forum, but it would be nice for the "layman", if you included a sentence about "if you are within $100, go ahead with this".

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