Intel Rigs Up: P4 Series with FSB800

MSI In FSB Craze

The feature once reserved for Intel's premium-priced flagship model is now appearing in P4s lower down the range. Hyperthreading (virtual dual-processor operation) is now available for Pentium 4 processors running at 2.4 GHz, 2.6 GHz and 2.8 GHz. The circuitry, which has been contained in every P4 chip manufactured for a while now, has finally been unlocked. At the same time, the FSB speed of 100 MHz or 133 MHz (both versions are available) has been ramped up to 200 MHz. Intel uses the designation FSB 800 (in time-honored tradition), since it uses Intel's quad-pumped bus.

Because older boards based on an 845 derivative did not officially support the 200 MHz FSB, there used to be only one option for achieving this: a board with the Intel 875P chipset at a premium price. An example is the Asus P4C800 retailing at around $280 - not necessarily the first choice for someone looking for a value motherboard.

To provide a better priced platform for medium performance Pentium 4 models, Intel introduced the 865 chipset (Springdale). Until recently, we remained unconvinced that there was any justification for the existence of this chipset. However, exhaustive tests with the new P4 CPUs show a different picture. Indeed, some boards fitted with the 865PE chipset are as fast, and in some respects even faster, than boards fitted with the 875P chipset. More about this in the benchmark section.

If you would like to check your own frequency, download thg_clock.exe .