Final Words

To most of you it should seem pretty simple what Intel has to do to make their product line a success.  The Pentium 4, at higher clock speeds (since the Pentium III is architecturally limited to lower clock speeds than what the P4 can achieve), with a DDR SDRAM platform from Intel could be just what the doctor ordered. 

You don’t have to see the benchmarks to know that RDRAM will be holding the Pentium 4 back.  Let’s take a look at a quick chart that compares the performance of a Pentium III 1GHz on an i815 with PC133 SDRAM to the same CPU on an i840 with dual channel PC800 RDRAM.

The above chart, taken from our AMD 760 Review makes it very clear that even the dual channel RDRAM memory controller found on the i840 (the same memory controller found on the i850 by the way) can’t even begin to compete with the PC133 support of the i815 chipset. 

Intel refuses to comment on the possibility that VIA is working on a Pentium 4 chipset.  Usually when a company denies that something is happening there is reason to believe that they are telling the truth, but when a company refuses to comment on an issue, chances are that something is going on.  It wouldn’t be surprising at all if VIA has a Pentium 4 chipset in the works. 

For VIA, the opportunity would be tremendous.  It would allow VIA to step up to a point where they would become pretty much the sole provider of chipsets for Socket-A platforms and Socket-423 platforms, not to mention a potentially successful Socket-370 line with their upcoming Apollo Pro 266 chipset. 

Chipset availability and memory support, or lack thereof, could make or break the Pentium 4 and unfortunately for Intel, things don’t seem too pleasant for the Pentium 4’s launch which is now just two days away.

Goodbye Almador
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