Ever since we were introduced to Intel's 845 chipset we knew that it supported DDR SDRAM, yet on September 11, 2001 the chipset was launched with only PC133 SDRAM support. Many argued that Intel's decision to release the chipset with only PC133 SDRAM support would be a horrible move, just adding to the list of things they've "done wrong" in the past three years. After all, both VIA and SiS were going to have Pentium 4 chipset offerings with DDR support by then.

Fast forwarding to the present day, both VIA and SiS have officially launched their Pentium 4 chipsets but you can count the number of motherboards widely available on your ten fingers. Because of the pending lawsuit between Intel and VIA, most motherboard manufacturers refuse to touch any of VIA's Pentium 4 chipsets. A brave few have pushed forward with their boards despite Intel's best efforts at intimidation yet as you will see from our pending roundup of those solutions, very few are even remotely respectable.

The SiS 645 chipset is much more desired by motherboard manufacturers because of the full Pentium 4 bus license that Intel granted the company; however, there are even fewer boards available that are using this chipset than there are P4X266 boards.

For a user that wants a Pentium 4, the only options that remain are a significantly slower PC133 platform using the i845 chipset or the i850 with RDRAM. While RDRAM is still a very high performer when coupled with the Pentium 4, it has yet to achieve a price parity with DDR SDRAM which can turn some users off. Granted the price of RDRAM has dropped significantly to the point where the premium paid is around $30 on 256MB, but it's still an issue for making the Pentium 4 accepted as a viable alternative to all enthusiasts.

So we penalized Intel for the past year and a half by saying that the 845 with DDR would come entirely too late to be successful but as luck would have it, we were wrong. Come later this week you'll see an in-depth look at the performance of the chipset but today we'll take a look at the first twelve 845 boards with DDR SDRAM support.

Still the same old 845; excellent

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