Dual DDR For Pentium 4: Intel E7205 Chipset Put To The Test


Granite, Not Silicon: Intel's Own Philosopher's Stone?

Even a year ago, Intel was hinting cautiously about Rambus. When the first i845/ Brookdale SDRAM chipset was introduced for the Pentium 4, the processor pioneer began to set up its own competition for the proprietary RDRAM interface. Back then, the idea was that Rambus would continue to exist as an equal. Intel spokespeople used the term "As market requires." But in the meantime, new chipsets for DDR SDRAM entered the market. Intel thereby created a new reality, and, stripped of its politically correct wording, the true meaning of the terminology was revealed: Rambus was slowly but surely being edged out. Then came products for the upper price bracket. The E7205 and E7505 chipsets (codenamed Granite Bay) are the producer's first offer of dual-channel DDR-SDRAM with AGP 8X support. The chipsets can be used on both Pentium 4 and Xeon platforms.

Details On E7205 For Desktop And Workstation

The housing of the E7205 is almost as big as a Pentium III; the die is even bigger (picture to scale).

On offer: the E7205 Northbridge together with the ICH4 Southbridge (FW82801DB). The latter is familiar from the i845PE/ GE and the i850E. The most important innovation on the E7205 is the dual-channel DDR-SDRAM support for the Pentium 4. What's more, an AGP-8X interface is also incorporated in the chip. This allows for graphic cards like the ATi Radeon 9000 series, ATi FireGL X1, Matrox Parhelia 512 and GeForce4/ Quadro4 AGP8X series to be used. An FSB of 133 MHz ("533 MHz quad-pumped") and hyperthreading are supported by the processor. The E7205 (workstation), bundled with the ICH4, costs $57.

Uwe Scheffel