Mobo Makers Try Again with Intel's 925X and 915P Chipsets

Not Much Luck This Time With Nine Boards For LGA775 And DDR2

Six weeks ago Intel ushered in its self-touted "digital revolution" with its new line of chipsets. Our tests then confirmed that the new platform based on Intel's 925X and 915P chipsets has a lot too offer - at least on paper.

More recently, as we received the first few boards in our labs, the confusion began. First, due to a manufacturing glitch, Intel had to call back a batch of ICH6 Southbridge chips. Some board manufacturers were not affected; others were able to intercept their deliveries, while some board makers even had to recall products.

We also ran into our own problems. First, we learned how power hungry the 3.6 GHz Pentium 4 (model 560) is: in D0 stepping, transfers up to 115 W into thermal power, and in doing so, it can reach a maximum CPU case temperature of 72.8°C. This represents a high value that the CPU can undoubtedly achieve with a big power load. According to the Intel specification, this is no problem, but a large number of motherboards already cut out early on in the test.

As a result of our involuntary activity as a beta tester, we experienced a flood of BIOS updates and solutions to the problems - and also fluctuating benchmark results. As a number of updates, in some cases important ones, are still expected, we have dispensed with publishing benchmark results for this project. This review is more about the troubles the boards gave us. A more extensive comparative test will follow in a few weeks.