The Next 'BX': 13 Motherboards For Pentium 4 With Intel's 845 Chipset and Socket mPGA478


Twelve Pentium 4 Motherboards With Intel's 845/Brookdale Chipset

Though hardly any home user would really buy a system based on Intel's high-tech Pentium 4 processor and the aging SDRAM, Intel chose to use this platform to introduce their flagship CPU to the mass market. The main problem that the chip giant has to fight against is the high price tag of the Pentium 4, plus Rambus DRAM (RDRAM), which is the only memory platform that can boost performance as fast as Athlon XP. In comparison to an Athlon system with Double Data Rate (DDR) memory, the Pentium 4 requires RDRAM (i850 chipset), or at least DDR memory to compete.

Brookdale, or i845, is meant to solve many problems: to regain market shares that were taken away by AMD's Athlon family; to introduce an affordable platform and make high clock speeds affordable, too; and, finally, to replace Socket 423 with the new socket mPGA478 - which we hope will stick around for at least one year.

Home PC users normally try to make reasonable decisions; often, this means choosing to go with the most "reputable" company. So, for many, it's not a question of whether an Athlon XP plus DDR memory is the faster, cheaper and, thus, smarter solution, when compared to others. We can take a look at the huge business market that is dominated by an alliance of companies like Intel, Microsoft and Dell, for example. This team works perfectly together and has provided good products with excellent support over the years, so why would any business customer suddenly decide to buy AMD-based systems if he's never had trouble with his Intel machines? Performance differences are given less importance here, as well; a system with '2 GHz and 512 MB RAM' sells a lot better than a second one with '1800+ and 256 MB' - even though the latter is considerably faster, due to the use of DDR memory.

As you may know, all motherboard manufacturers offer at least one model based on the Brookdale chipset. This effort can be seen as preparatory work for the i845D chipset, which (finally) supports DDR memory.