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Metamorphosis from Springdale to Canterwood

Chronology Of Events

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

The THG editors bought a motherboard of the same name, Asus P4P800 (Rev. 1.02), in one of Germany's better known districts for computer retailers. While making an initial visual comparison of the two boards we noticed some clear differences between the press sample and the retail variant, although the same model name as well as board revision are indicated on both. On both of the boards, the latest BIOS (1006 Beta 010) was installed and tested with identical settings. The result we got was that the retail variant of the P4P800 is up to 11% slower than the press sample in the memory tests.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Early in the morning, we contacted Asus in Taiwan and asked them to make a statement regarding the differences between the seemingly identical boards. That same evening, Asus Taiwan posted a press release (which could originally be viewed here ):

Taipei, Taiwan; May 28, 2003 - ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (ASUS), the worldwide leader of motherboards, today announced its P4P800 series motherboards, based on Intel's latest 865PE chipset, are able to active Intel's Performance Acceleration Technology (PAT) for robust computing. Currently, ASUS' 865PE motherboards are the only solutions in the market that provide this advanced feature.PAT is a trigger for extreme performance, boosting system performance by 3-5%. Combined with the 865PE chipset enabling an 800 MHz system bus, it is designed for extreme performance. According to Intel, PAT is an exclusive technology for the 875P chipset, but with ASUS' strong engineering capability, the P4P800 series comes equipped with this feature as well.To activate PAT, simply go into BIOS setup utility. Here are the simple steps:1) Enter BIOS setup utility2) Select "Advanced" menu3) Select "Chipset" configuration4) Enabled Memory Acceleration Mode5) Your system is now PAT ready...Before deciding to include this performance enhancement feature, ASUS' research and development team conducted thorough and stringent tests on system stability to achieve an ideal balance between performance and reliability.

At the same time, we contacted Intel USA and asked them for a statement on this. In the end, the question was whether the PAT technology of the 875 chipset (Canterwood) could also be activated with the 865PE chipset (Springdale). In the meantime, the statement from Asus was making its way around the globe. We concluded that Asus' press release was in stark opposition to what was specified in Intel's whitepapers on the 865 and 875 chipsets.