Intel's 925XE: Does Beating the 1 GHz FSB Barrier Matter?

As Exciting As It Gets

The whole industry is on the edge of its seat waiting for several new products from the House of Intel. One example is the family of Pentium 4 processors with Enhanced Speedstep, designed to lower average power loss. Then there's the 925XE chipset waiting in the wings, whose faster system bus speed is destined to really get the LGA775 platform rocking.

With all due respect: it's about time, too. The move from the 865/875 to 915/925 chipsets has brought progress in nearly every area; only performance has remained at a standstill. Intel's platform so far lacks vision; given the long-awaited FSB speed increase to 266 MHz, you could not seriously recommend a 775 system with a clear conscience to a demanding would-be buyer. It would quickly become outmoded, and certainly expensive, thanks to DDR2 and PCI Express.

Now there's yet another chipset raring to go, which industry experts admit may become the "next" BX chipset. To refresh your memory: The 440BX was the first Slot 1 chipset, powering the Pentium II with an FSB clock speed of 100 MHz. For a period of more than a year, the BX was both the fastest chipset and the one considered to have the best long-term prospects.

Intel will undoubtedly decide which processor models it will adapt to FSB1066 based on production openings. So far, there's no word on whether a 2 MB P4 Extreme Edition with L3 cache will head up the new power line. Given that Socket 775 is not, in Intel's words, a temporary solution, it will probably also serve as the platform for the first dual-core processors in mid 2005.