Finicky at DDR400

The one thing that we have noticed during our testing of both the 875P and the 865 chipsets is that these solutions are extremely picky about DDR400 and the memory timings you run at.

We're still getting a grasp on the different brands of memory and their interactions with these motherboards, but one thing is for sure, the level of compatibility is definitely far from what we've seen on other DDR400 boards (e.g. nForce2). The 865 chipset seems to be far more choosey than the 875P about what timings we're able to run DDR400 at, especially in dual-channel mode.

To give you an idea, both Intel's 865PE and ABIT's 865PE motherboards would not reliably install Windows with Corsair's XMS3200 DDR installed and the timings set to automatically configure via SPD in the BIOS. Instead we had to increase the CAS latency to 2.5 and tinker with the Precharge to Active, Active to Precharge, and Active to CMD settings in order to setup a stable system. On the other hand, we're able to run the memory using its SPD to automatically configure the settings just fine on ABIT's 875P motherboard and ASUS' nForce2 motherboard.

The problem may be limited to Corsair DIMMs, which is also unacceptable considering the popularity of Corsair's memory within the community. We'll continue to focus on these issues and examine them further in our individual 865 motherboard reviews. Until then, if you do purchase an 865 motherboard and are having difficulties maintaining a stable system then you'll want to back off some of the memory timings, even if you know your memory can work fine at them.

865G: The Same Slow Graphics Core Looking Ahead - Intel's Grantsdale Chipsets
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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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