Chipset Guide

by Anand Lal Shimpi on August 1, 1997 9:36 PM EST
Intel announced back in June that they would be soon releasing their first AGPSet exclusively for the Pentium II, implying that they would be giving up on the Pentium MMX and Pentium Pro line of chipsets. Sure enough, when September came around Intel gave us an expected surprise with the release of the 440LX Chipset, a chipset combining the best of the 430TX and 440FX chipsets.

The result of months of hard work and testing was a chipset, supporting only the Pentium II, with official support for AGP, SDRAM, the UltraATA HDD specification, and full PC97 compliance. The deep buffers between DRAM and the CPU remain unmatched by any other Intel chipset, and like the 440FX the LX supports a maximum of Dual Processors. The single chip design of the 440LX chipset is something you don't see very much in the chipset industry, but something you will begin to see much more of especially with some upcoming products from VIA as well as future Intel chipsets. To the left is a picture of the LX chipset:

The LX Chipset, being the first Pentium II chipset to support SDRAM, supports a maximum of 512MB of SDRAM and a whopping 1GB of EDO if you opt for the slower standard. Fortunately, the LX chipset is able to improve performance when SDRAM is used with it by requiring special modules with onboard EEPROM to be used to enable communications between the chipset and the RAM. However, older modules lacking this EEPROM still work with the chipset almost flawlessly.

Intel 82440LX Chipset
Common Name LX AGPSet
Chipset Packaging Number of chips 1 (82443LX)
Packaging Type 1 x 492-pin BGA
CPU Support Number of CPUs 2 (SMP)
AMD CPUs Supported N/A
Cyrix CPUs Supported N/A
Intel CPUs Supported Pentium II
Cache Type N/A on chip
Maximum Supported Size N/A on chip
Maximum Cacheable DRAM Area N/A on chip
Memory Maximum DRAM Supported 512MB (SDRAM); 1024MB (EDO)
BEDO DRAM Read Timings (66MHz) N/A
EDO DRAM Read Timings (66MHz) 5-2-2-2
FPM DRAM Read Timings (66MHz) N/A
SDRAM Read Timings (66MHz) 5-1-1-1
Data Path to Memory 64-bits
ECC Support Yes
Hard Disk Controller Chip PIIX4 (82371AB Controller)
Busmastering Support Yes
UltraDMA Support Yes
Max. Theoretical Transfer Rate PIO Mode 5/DMA Mode 3 (33.3MB/S)
PCI Interface Supported PCI Bus Speeds 30, 33 MHz
Async. PCI Bus Speed No
PCI Specification 2.1 (66 MHz max.)
Power Management PC97 Compliance Yes
Suspend to Disk Yes
HDD Power Down Yes
Modem Wakeup Yes
System Suspend Yes
Video AGP Support Yes (66/133)
Unified Memory Architecture No
Peripheral Support USB Support Yes
Plug and Play Port Yes
Write Buffers CPU-to-DRAM Unknown
CPU-to-PCI Unknown
PCI-to-DRAM Unknown
Officially Supported Bus Speeds 60, 66 MHz
Unofficially Achieved Bus Speeds 68, 75, 83.3, ~100 MHz
Intel 440BX Intel 440GX
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  • vortmax2 - Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - link

    The good ole' days when you could put multiple vendor CPUs into the same motherboard. So simple...
  • PentiumGeek - Thursday, September 1, 2016 - link

    This motherboard was on my 1st PC. I was very disappointed when faced with the problem that DIMM and SIMM memory can't work in the same time. I used Pentium 100Mhz CPU on this motherboard :)
  • Amadeus777999 - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - link

    Got an ASUS P2L97 board yesterday and I'm reading through this while DoomII is benchmarking. Good times.
  • rogerjowett - Sunday, May 17, 2020 - link

    Does n e 1 know where I can find a Voltage Regulation Module please

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