The introduction of new processors from Intel is always a media event, but the launch of new Intel chipsets becomes a major event. As the largest player in the chipset market, the innovations in Intel's new chipsets always have a profound influence, not just on the Pentium 4 processor market, but on the VIA, nVidia, SiS, and other designs for both Intel and AMD Processors. Intel is more than the largest maker of chipsets, they are also the yardstick by which every other chipset and chipset maker is measured.

With the introduction of the Enthusiast 925X chipset, known as Alderwood during development, and the Mainstream 915 chipset, known as Grantsdale, Intel has raised the stakes even more than usual. Not only are we seeing new chipsets, but attached are a new CPU socket 775 called Socket T, a new bus Technology called PCI Express, a new Graphics Card slot called x16 PCIe, and a new memory technology called DDR2. Those are just the highlights, since we are also seeing additional changes attached to these technologies - like new heatsinks, new power supplies, High-Definition audio, and Matrix Raid. The last time Intel attempted such a wholesale change in PC architecture was the introduction of Pentium 4 and Rambus memory. History showed Rambus to be a failure in the market, but the rest of the technology eventually did find its way into the mainstream computer market. The changes in this round are even more profound on the surface than the Rambus introduction, since they involve even more architectural changes. These are the greatest changes to the PC in over a decade.

All of this means that Intel plans to change almost everything about your PC. With all the new slots, sockets, peripherals and connectors, we take a closer look at whether the new also means improved performance. How does 925X perform compared to 875P? What are the performance differences in the 925X and 915 chipsets? Does DDR2 really perform better than DDR?

Intel Socket 775 Chipsets
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  • nserra - Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - link

    You guys are only evaluating the performance, I think it's not that important, the features yes, those are important. The P4 is crap even with hyper-x,y,z, so it wasn't a "chipset" that was going to make a miracle.

    I would like to see the new platform tested, IGP, Sound system, EMT64 (is it enable on LGA775 processors?), NX bit?, new power saving techniques, so new features up to test.

    At least the DDR vs DDR2 comparison is a good thing.
    I was hopping that DD2 would give a performance boast, since the P4 architecture relies on higher bandwidth and higher latency (the pros of RDRAM i850), but I guess not....
  • Bozo Galora - Monday, June 21, 2004 - link

    yes he's sure
  • RyanVM - Monday, June 21, 2004 - link

    #54, Are you sure you aren't thinking of the S754/S939 dual socket mobo?
  • tfranzese - Sunday, June 20, 2004 - link

    #53, yes, there's a board that was shown at Computex that had both sockets giving the option to use one or the other.
  • RyanVM - Sunday, June 20, 2004 - link

    So, any chance that the 915 chipset can be tied to a socket 478 + Northwood? :D
  • Marlin1975 - Sunday, June 20, 2004 - link

    AMD does not really need dual ch. memory. Look at the diff. between a socket 939 and 754, it is very little for most apps. Also Dual Ch memory is not new. It was used WAY back in the day.

    The only reason it is back is because intel can't design a decent CPU so they have to make up for it with pricey and unneeded tech.
  • tfranzese - Sunday, June 20, 2004 - link

    Anemone, there's really little reason you need dual-channel memory on the AMD64 platform with the memory controller being on the chip.
  • Anemone - Sunday, June 20, 2004 - link

    Anti overclocking designs in the new chipsets? Very poor choice.

    I will reiterate Intel performance per $ over its previous generations is pathetic. More $ required per degree of performance and the increase over last year is poor.

    AMD is expensive until you get to the 754 - but perhaps I'm mistaken but I thought the industry had left single channel memory configurations behind 2 years ago. Oh wait, it's AMD, that's about their catchup period, sorry. So yes look at AMD in dual channel AMD64 chips and yes they are very pricey. So much for their argument that by providing competition they keep prices down.

    Add to all that the overclocking unfriendly stuff, and while AMD comes out as better overall, the performance per $ is still not markedly better than last year, imo.

  • Bozo Galora - Sunday, June 20, 2004 - link

    "My My We are in trouble now arent we..."

    Yeah, I guess we might have to offer AMD a few of our (cash in the bank) billions to buy them out. I wonder if the FTC will allow that? Hmmmmm. Let's investigate.
  • firtol88 - Saturday, June 19, 2004 - link

    My My we are in trouble now aren't we...

    Looks like AMD is the clear choice, unless you need a heater.

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