All Aboard! P4 with 200 MHz FSB and the i875P Dual DDR400 Chipset

Southbridge 82801EB/R (ICH5)

ICH5-R Southbridge 82801EB/R.

Without a doubt, one of the most awaited new features of Intel's 875 chipset is the integrated Serial ATA controller.

Serial ATA: Tomb RAIDer Vs. Promise & Co

The user doesn't have to forgo anything usual, because the Serial ATA logic was integrated in the southbridge (ICH5). Thus, there is no longer any need for an additional chip or even a Serial ATA PCI controller card from Promise & Co. What remains is the UltraATA/100 controller with two ports, which allows you to run four IDE ATA drives.

It's not just the new interface that Serial ATA brings, but the possibility of operating six ATA drives (4x UltraATA, 2x Serial ATA).

Following the general trend, Intel has equipped the controller to such an extent that it masters the popular RAID modes 0 (striping) and 1 (mirroring). Although this is only true for the Serial ATA controller, it still allows you to run a drive array consisting of two drives in a stripeset (for a performance increase) or to duplicate the contents onto two hard disks (mirroring, for data security). Initially, the BIOS firmware will only support RAID 0, with RAID 1 support to appear soon with another BIOS update.

Uwe Scheffel