Chipset Guide

by Anand Lal Shimpi on August 1, 1997 9:36 PM EST
As you can tell by the below Specification chart the Intel BX chipset isn't all that different from the 440LX chipset. The real division between the two chipsets is the 440BX's official support for the 100MHz Bus Frequency, a 50% increase in the clock of the system bus from Intel's previous standard, the 66MHz bus. 

Not only will this increased bus frequency bring us higher clock speeds, but it will also provide the users with increased memory performance due to the System memory operating at the 100MHz bus speed, in comparison to the conventional 66MHz setting. 

Intel 82440BX Chipset
Common Name BX AGPSet
Chipset Packaging Number of chips 1 (82443BX)
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
Officially Supported Bus Speeds 66, 100 MHz
Unofficially Achieved Bus Speeds 75, 83, 103, 112, 133 MHz

Of course, with overclocking, many Pentium II owners have pushed their systems to the limits making use of the 75, 83.3, or even the 92MHz bus speed setting on some LX motherboards...and as these tests show, the Pentium II is hardly affected by the higher bus speeds performance wise. 

The most dramatic increases in performance when dealing with Slot-1/Pentium II systems comes from an increase to the clock speed of the processor.  The reason behind this being that the Pentium II's high speed Level 2 cache is located on the P2 cartridge on a special dedicated bus, making its operating frequency vary directly with the clock speed of the processor, more specifically, the L2 cache on a Pentium II operates at 1/2 the clock speed of the processor. 

It is for that reason that running a Pentium II - 300 at 100 x 3.0 will not yield any significant improvements over running the processor at 66 x 4.5, since, in both cases, the L2 cache is operating at 150MHz.

Intel 440FX Intel 440LX
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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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