With all of the recent roadmaps and news concerning 925X (Alderwood), subtle 915P (Grantsdale) details have been overlooked. As mentioned in the Intel roadmaps, i925X shall remain DDR2 exclusive. Unfortunately, initial performance on DDR2 will probably be just par with our DDR1 today, and upgrading directly to the premium chipset will not produce big performance gains.

Several weeks ago we hinted that even though 915P supports both JEDEC DDR1 and DDR2, vendors would probably implement DDR1 on most of their solutions. Not only would this allow some differentiation between 925X and 915P, but it would also allow a slightly milder upgrade track for system builders.

However, in the past week we began to get different data from vendors concerning the Grantsdale platform. Here is what we will probably see as Grantsdale evolves:

  • 4 x 184 pin DDR1 motherboards
  • 2 x 184 pin DDR1 plus 2 x 240 pin DDR2motherboards
  • This means 915P could prove to become a very prudent upgrade path. If, for some reason, PCI-Express solutions from ATI or NVIDIA become more viable options over their AGP counterparts, you will need to purchase a new motherboard. Keeping the existing memory and CPU on a 915P motherboard would allow more users to upgrade at time of release. Then, several months later these same users could upgrade the CPU and memory to DDR2 on the same motherboard platform. Upgrading incrementally give us the best of both worlds.

    Lest we forget VIA and SIS core logics also pronounce dual compatibility (although that does not translate to dual implementation). With VIA's stronger focus being cost rather than performance, we may actually see more 2+2 designs for PT890 than SiS's 656 or Intel's P15P.

    Will a 2+2 implementation of DDR1 and DDR2 be more beneficial to end users? Undoubtedly yes. Easier upgrade paths allow users to buy on their own budget and time. Serious memory users that need the full four banks of memory will probably not benefit as much from the 915P chipset anyway. Feel free to discuss your thoughts in our comments section.



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    • BlackHawk2k4 - Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - link

      Oh and by the way, your statement is invalid anyway, because they are BOTH currently running in 32 bit environments.

      32 bit AMD, vs 32 bit Intel, looks like a level playing field to me, and AMD is winning.
    • BlackHawk2k4 - Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - link

      #12, you talk like Intel is paying you to say these things.

      They are not even remotely correct as you obviously have no clue about CPU architecture and how they work.

    • larson0699 - Monday, March 01, 2004 - link

      AMD's processors are cheap and powerful indeed, but I suspect the only benchmarks in which they perform worse are based on clock speed. Ticks are the deciding factor in file conversions (e.g. DivX to MPEG2) and so far AMD hasn't pushed past 2.2GHz... Keeping in mind that even at this speed it competes with Intel's best, it would OBLITERATE all P4s (including P4EE, the Xeon on crack) at their current rates of 3 to 3.4GHz. No question.
      Pertaining to THIS thread, I've used hybrid SIMM/DIMM setups too - no problems with stability, but it never helped performace either. I'd have been better off removing the SIMMs to maintain low latency and fast access, but I was 13 and thought it cool to install as much as possible. =P
      I currently use a Willamette P4 (socket 423) with PC800 RDRAM (via i850). I don't remember anyone bitching about buying expensive RAM then; they just settled for SDRAM (and unknowingly suffered major P4 chokage).
      If memory is an issue yet again today, why don't people just go one way or the other like before? Buy what you can afford and be happy, or buy nothing at all. I plan to keep this RDRAM around for R659, if it promises anything for quad-channel PC800.
    • Shinei - Sunday, February 29, 2004 - link

      Ugh, IamTHEsnake apparently doesn't understand Hammer architecture in the slightest. :/

      As for the introduction of DDR-II, I'm still wondering why we need it; PC4400 seems to be serving the world just fine, and it's a damn sight cheaper, too...
    • IamTHEsnake - Sunday, February 29, 2004 - link

      retrospooty, think again all this time AMD has been using a 64-bit cpu vs intel's 32-bit cpu. I think you have overlooked the fact that the cpu you are referring to is ALSO 64-BIT . THEN WE WILL SEE WHO WILL BE CROWNED KING ON A LEVEL PLAYING GROUND!!!

      fool, your amd64 loving a$$ will be speechless.
    • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, February 28, 2004 - link

      I think #8 has the most valid point here.

    • TrogdorJW - Friday, February 27, 2004 - link

      Bleh. The Intel vs. AMD argument that is trying to sidetrack this thread. Oh, well.... We've heard all sorts of stuff. Buy what you think is best. Right now, it's AMD on both the price/performance segment (Athlon XP) and the high-performance segment (Athlon 64). Intel WILL counter with something better eventually, but it's looking more and more like Prescott even with the 64-bit extensions is going to at best match the Athlon 64, and that's doubtful.

      Now, as for this 2x2 arrangement of DDR1/DDR2 DIMM slots, I can't stand hybrid designs. I had so many problems back in the day with 486/Pentium chips on 2x2 30-pin/72-pin boards and later on 72-pin/168-pin setups. Yeah, you could get them to run stable after some effort, but it was almost always at the cost of performance as well as a lower maximum memory capacity.

      Since DDR2 will only have a performance advantage when we start scaling to higher bus speeds, and that is likely to be at least a year away, if I were to get a 915P motherboard, I would much rather have a 4xDDR1 than the 2x2 hybrid. You would need to upgrade to a new CPU to make use of DDR2 (because the CPU would have to support a higher bus speed), not to mention that at least right now, DDR2 is costing a TON more than DDR1.

      Hybrids often sound like a good idea, but they're really marketing BS. When people actually get to the point where they're thinking about upgrading their system to the newer options on hybrid boards, they usually end up needing a new motherboard anyway. So you can buy a 2x2 915P and potentially run DDR2 RAM for no performance benefit, and in one year or so when P4 chips that run on a 266 or higher bus come out, you'll end up discovering that your motherboard isn't certified to handle those CPUs anyway.
    • retrospooty - Friday, February 27, 2004 - link

      #3 , A 3ghz A64 would completely destroy a 4 ghz P4 w/ 64 bits. What are you even talking about ? Reply
    • Cygni - Friday, February 27, 2004 - link

      The best selling retail motherboard of all time, the K7S5A, was a 2x2 solution. What does that tell ya? heh. Reply
    • KristopherKubicki - Friday, February 27, 2004 - link

      I think #1 was being sarcastic :-p Reply

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