In December 2002, there were not very many choices as far as Intel motherboards go.  SiS and Intel were both battling it out over the 533FSB market with i845PE and SiS 648 although Intel was clearly coming out ahead.  Intel's extremely short lived Granite Bay chipset came and went with a 5 month product cycle; certainly a trend we would not like to see occur too often.  Many of you might also remember Intel's sneaky move where they put all 865PE advertisements and announcements under non-disclosure agreements even though the boards sat on store shelves.  As a result, the near identical performance of 865PE and 875P boards succumbed to clever marketing and 875P boards flew off the shelves.

Seven months later, not nearly as many motherboards companies have unlocked 865PE chips left and there actually is a performance difference between 865PE and 875P.  The bigger Tier 2 companies (Abit, DFI, Albatron) should still have enough unlocked 865PE chips to continue their board production, but that has yet to be confirmed.

SiS and VIA are still both in the Intel chipset making business; SiS's fairly robust 655TX boards are supposed to be some of the best available.  However, as always seems to be the case with SiS's Intel struggle, it may be too little too late.  VIA has been slowly growing recognition for its PT800/PT880 core, although many people have been reluctant to adopt the alternative chipsets over 865/875.  Intel is just holding too many good cards in its hand.  Perhaps VIA's partnership with S3 will secure a stronger position in the Intel IGP field.

Speaking of Intel IGP, the little engine that could (ATI), made quiet incredible headway this year with its 9100 IGP RS300.  Of course its performance could not match that of 875P  or even 865PE, but the integrated Radeon 9100 does make short work of any integrated graphics from VIA or Intel.  We will be seeing a lot more of ATI in the core logic sector of the future.

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  • SUOrangeman - Monday, December 29, 2003 - link

    The new 74Gb Raptor should be much cheaper and widely available from more popular vendors now (i.e., NewEgg).

  • Phiro - Monday, December 29, 2003 - link

    You need to look a little lower, divide. I saw one for $194 I believe.
  • divide_by_zero - Sunday, December 28, 2003 - link

    Perhaps it is a function of live updating in prices but...

    "There are still some excellent NVIDIA cards. Our particular favorite, the GeForceFX 5900 NON-Ultra has been a spectacular sub-$200 card for several months now."

    And on the chart they range from $239.00 to $281.00
  • eBauer - Saturday, December 27, 2003 - link

    $217 is OEM, $240 is retail I believe.
  • Pumpkinierre - Friday, December 26, 2003 - link

    You had the A64 3000+ (512k L2) at $217 3 days ago and now you say its $240. I imagine demand would be great on this cpu but is there an error in your reporting?

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