Showdown at 133 MHz FSB - Part 2, The Real McCoy

Intel 815 'Solano' Chipset

Last year Intel was still despising PC133 as an unreliable solution, but at this time Intel didn't know how much everybody would hate i820 and RDRAM. Finally Intel came around and changed the specs of the upcoming successor of i810. 'Solano' was supposed to be another low-end chipset with integrated graphics, but today it might be the most interesting product that Intel will release this year.

Solano or 'i815' will have an integrated graphics adapter, but this baby can be turned off and you can use your own fast AGP-graphics card instead. i815 will also use PC133 SDRAM instead of the dreaded RDRAM and it will also get the new 'hub architecture' design.

Maybe that doesn't really excite you yet, but I bet it will once you've spotted the results we scored with BX. After all we should have to see i815 as the real successor of 440BX. The most important advantage that Solano has over BX will be AGP4x support, ATA66-support, official PC133 SDRAM support, AGP-bus running at 66 MHz and thus in spec and the hub architecture. There is no obvious disadvantage over BX, unless you see the integrated graphics adapter as some kind of nuisance. After all it can be switched off though. Anyway, there's no reason why Solano shouldn't score at least as well as BX, as a matter of fact it should score even better. So if BX133 looks good in our comparison here, Solano should look even better.