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Pentium 4 + SDRAM: Does This Make Sense?

The Next 'BX': 13 Motherboards For Pentium 4 With Intel's 845 Chipset and Socket mPGA478
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From either a performance or a price/ performance point of view, most people would rather pick a system based on RDRAM or an Athlon machine with DDR memory. So, now that Intel is coupling Pentium 4 with SDRAM, many of you might be wondering what direction Intel is taking. Well, there are several points that speak to the value of Intel's Brookdale:

1. Socket mPGA478


The 845 chipset is available with Intel's new socket mPGA478. It was developed in order to meet the tight specs for even faster clock speeds. The general opinion in the industry is that Socket mPGA478 plus the Brookdale chipset (with DDR support) will enjoy a lasting success similar to that of the 440BX chipset for the Pentium II/III, which had been the premier choice for almost two years. Under this opinion, it follows that any motherboard that is based on Brookdale and Socket 478 will be able to run Pentium 4 CPUs far beyond 2 GHz.

2. SDRAM Is Cheap: Business Computers


The tremendous price drops in the memory sector have made most kinds of memory affordable. Computers with 256 or 512 MB RAM are normal today, but most of them are still based on SDRAM! This is mainly due to the fact that computer manufacturers try to assemble cheap systems, so many prefer a KT133A motherboard plus SDRAM over a KT266A and DDR memory, in the interest of saving a few bucks.

3. SDRAM Is Cheap: Upgrading


There are many people that already have 256 or 512 MB SDRAM and possibly bought additional memory only a short time ago. An argument to buy Brookdale could be the memory issue, but, be aware that this argument speaks even more in favor of Athlon systems, as they provide the better value: a KT133A motherboard plus Athlon 1400 CPU is clearly cheaper than any 845 motherboard and a Pentium 4 1.5 GHz. In addition, the Athlon system is faster, as well.

4. Overclocking!


Many Pentium 4 systems with Rambus DRAM disappoint the hard-core overclockers out there, as they are hardly easy to overclock - the only way to overclock a Pentium 4 CPU is to increase the FSB speed. Simultaneously, the memory clock will also rise. RDRAM already runs at 400 MHz double-pumped and is quite sensitive in terms of overclocking; high-quality SDRAM modules easily run at 20-30% faster clock speed than the speed for which they were specified. That opens the way to 133 MHz FSB with the Pentium 4 (by overclocking) - with Brookdale!

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