Review of Final i815/Solano Chipset


This review comes right from our Computex Testing Lab in Taipei. We were lucky to receive two motherboards with final i815/Solano silicon, and both boards came from very well known motherboard makers. Due to some time constraint here, I will keep this review a bit shorter than what you are used to, but I'd recommend having a read of the Solano Preview Article from a few weeks ago if you want the full background information on Intel's upcoming Solano chipset.

Rambus? No, Thanks!

Basically, i815 is Intel's first chipset with support of PC133 SDRAM and therefore Intel's first alternative to the unsuccessful chipsets i820 and i840 that require the highly unpopular and expensive RDRAM. Less than a year ago, Intel stated that RDRAM is the future and that they won't ever supply a chipset with support for PC133 SDRAM. The bad image of Rambus and RDRAM, its rather questionable performance, the superior performance of the good old BX-chipset at 133 MHz as well as several major bugs that were found in i820/i840 forced Intel to turn away from their stubborn RDRAM-only policy and so the plans for i815/Solano were finally dragged out of the drawer. It seems that Intel is finally starting to turn away from Rambus to save their credibility and popularity.