Intel Stakes Its Vision of the PC Future with 775 Launch

New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV, Continued

All the southbridge parts look the same. We picked the ICH6R.

There are four southbridge versions to choose from - of course at an extra cost only. The ICH6 is included with all 900 series Northbridge chips by default. ICH6R adds basic RAID functionality for $3 while ICH6W is the version with integrated wireless LAN controller for $5 more. ICH6RW finally offers everything with an extra $7 per chipset. We recommend that the ICH6 southbridge family be equipped with a heat sink, and in fact a heat sink is necessary because the component gets hotter than ever before. We even measured higher temperature numbers for the southbridge than for the Northbridge - at least the latter is cooled by the airflow originating from the CPU fan.

None of these new chipsets have much in common with their predecessors except for the now standard features, such as PCI slots, USB 2.0 ports, a basic sound system, controllers for storage devices etc. What's new are the four PCI Express x1 lanes, the Intel High Definition audio system and a fully featured four-channel AHCI Serial ATA controller.

Intel designed the 900 chipset family from scratch to have native PCI Express support. Hence it is no surprise to see that the proprietary interlink between MCH and ICH has been replaced by a PCI Express related circuit called DMI (Direct Media Interface). This uses four PCI Express lanes and delivers a bandwidth of 1 GB/s per direction. Because of this, it is no longer possible to use last-generation southbridge chips (ICH4 or ICH5) in conjunction with the latest Northbridges.

Chips And Packages

All the Northbridge chips come in a flip-chip ball grid array (FCBGA) with 1210 balls, while the southbridge is placed into a classic ball grid array with 609 connectors. Although the manufacturing process of Intel's chipsets has always been one generation behind the processor manufacturing, the chipsets have not been converted to 130 nm yet. Instead, all components are based on a 180 nm process, which would explain the high temperatures we noticed with the ICH6 chips.

North Bridge 925X 915P 915G 915GV
Product Name NG9225X NG82915P NG82915G NG82915GV
North Bridge Package 1210-ball
South Bridge ICH6 ICH6R ICH6W ICH6RW
Product Name FW82801FB FW82801R FW82801W FW82801RW
South Bridge Package 609-ball
  1. Intel's 775 Launch Mixes Ambition With A Strong Aftertaste
  2. First Contact
  3. Obstacles And Hurdles
  4. More Findings
  5. New Socket: LGA 775
  6. LGA 775 Processor Installation
  7. LGA 775 Processor Installation, Continued
  8. LGA 775 Processor Installation, Continued
  9. MSI's CPU Installation Tool
  10. Transitional Products
  11. Poor Thing: Intel Reference Cooler
  12. New Processors: P4 Prescott Up To 3.6 GHz
  13. Specification Overview
  14. Model And Pricing Information
  15. Processor Overview
  16. New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV
  17. New Chipsets: 925X, 915G, 915P, 915GV, Continued
  18. 925X Express Chipset
  19. 915G Express Chipset
  20. 915G Express Chipset, Continued
  21. 915G Express Chipset, Continued
  22. 915P Express Chipset
  23. Chipset Devices
  24. Intel Puts The Lock On Overclocking
  25. How To Unlock The Overclocking Lock
  26. New Memory: DDR2-533, Continued
  27. DDR2 Memory Vendors
  28. Intel Flex Memory Technology
  29. New Interlink: PCI Express
  30. More SATA, More RAID, More Ports
  31. Matrix RAID
  32. Creating A RAID Array
  33. More HD Performance For Free: Command Queuing
  34. More Networking: Intel Wireless Connect Technology
  35. New Audio: High Definition Audio
  36. Asus P5AD2 Premium
  37. Foxconn 925A01
  38. Test Setup
  39. Benchmarks And Settings
  40. Platform Benchmarks
  41. DirectX 8 Benchmarks
  42. DirectX 8 Benchmarks, Continued
  43. DirectX 9 Benchmarks, Continued
  44. Video Benchmarks
  45. Video Benchmarks, Continued
  46. Application Benchmarks
  47. Application Benchmarks, Continued
  48. Synthetic Benchmarks
  49. Synthetic Benchmarks, Continued
  50. Processor Power Consumption
  51. Integrated Graphics Benchmarks
  52. Game Benchmarks
  53. Halo
  54. Far Cry
  55. Video Performance
  56. Networking Benchmarks
  57. Storage Subsystem Benchmarks
  58. Conclusion
  59. A Final Note
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  • So how do you unlock it?