Chipset Guide

by Anand Lal Shimpi on August 1, 1997 9:36 PM EST
By this time, Intel had two titles under their belt with the success of the FX and HX chipsets, however something was missing. The market demanded a chipset to fill the void between the original FX chipset and the much more powerful and more expensive HX chipset, what was to be used in desktop computers for the home or low cost situations?

Answering this cry for help Intel released the VX chipset, commonly referred to as the Triton III which can be quite misleading since it is in no way superior to the Triton II when it comes to performance. The 430VX is plagued by the 64MB cacheable memory limit as well as poor performance as a direct cause of a lack of CPU-to-PCI buffers, something unheard of in the 430HX Chipset. However Intel made up for this by equipping the VX chipset with the ability to support SDRAM, a newer, faster type of DRAM as well as adding support for the Unified Memory Architecture, UMA for short. UMA can be thought of as a sort of pre-AGP which allows your video card to share your system memory with the sacrifice of some performance, about a 5% loss overall. Unfortunately with SDRAM and UMA support the 430VX still cannot compete head to head with the HX chipset nor VIA's line of Apollo chipsets, however it still provides excellent performance for the price.

Intel 82430VX Chipset
Common Name Triton III
Chipset Packaging Number of chips 3 (82437VX System Controller, 82438VX, 82371SB)
Packaging Type 2 x 208-pin lead QFP; 1 x 100-pin lead QFP
CPU Support Number of CPUs 1
AMD CPUs Supported K5, K6
Cyrix CPUs Supported 6x86 (M1), 6x86MX (M2)
Intel CPUs Supported Pentium, Pentium MMX
Cache Type Pipeline Burst Cache
Maximum Supported Size 512KB
Maximum Cacheable DRAM Area 64MB
Memory Maximum DRAM Supported 128MB
BEDO DRAM Read Timings (66MHz) N/A
EDO DRAM Read Timings (66MHz) 6-2-2-2
FPM DRAM Read Timings (66MHz) 6-3-3-3
SDRAM Read Timings (66MHz) 7-1-1-1
Data Path to Memory 64-bits
ECC Support No
Hard Disk Controller Chip PIIX3 (82371SB Controller)
Busmastering Support Yes
UltraDMA Support No
Max. Theoretical Transfer Rate PIO Mode 4/DMA Mode 2 (16.6MB/S)
PCI Interface Supported PCI Bus Speeds 25, 30, 33 MHz
Concurrent PCI Yes
Async. PCI Bus Speed No
PCI Specification 2.0 (66 MHz max.)
Power Management PC97 Compliance No
Suspend to Disk No
HDD Power Down Yes
Modem Wakeup No
System Suspend No
Video AGP Support No
Unified Memory Architecture Yes
Peripheral Support USB Support Yes
Plug and Play Port Yes
Write Buffers CPU-to-DRAM 16 QWords
CPU-to-PCI 5 DWords
PCI-to-DRAM 18 DWords
Officially Supported Bus Speeds 50, 55, 60, 66 MHz
Unofficially Achieved Bus Speeds 68, 75, 83.3 MHz
Intel 430TX Intel 440FX
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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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