A Comeback For Rambus? Six Boards With Intel 850E, Continued
And keep in mind that Intel is only able take the lead over its competitor, AMD Athlon XP, when used together with an RDRAM platform. Otherwise, if DDR RAM is used, Intel's lead over the Athlon XP is quite minimal, and the company thus couldn't really talk of a large performance margin above the lower-clocked AMD Athlon.
Currently, the new Intel Southbridge with USB 2 support is only used by Gigabyte. It's a mystery as to why Intel doesn't use this on their own boards.
Rambus is certainly not dead, and this is proven by the motherboard makers, who are fond of experimenting. The first manufacturers to present some interesting new developments are Asus and Gigabyte. Asus has integrated a new interface for a 32 bit memory module in its P4T533. As opposed to the standard RDRAM modules, which can only be used in pairs, only a single 32 bit module is needed to run a motherboard. In order to spare the users any difficulty, motherboards that are bundled with RAM are now available. Cost was no concern for Gigabyte - this motherboard maker came out with a completely new board design, which makes it possible to integrate the latest ICH4 Southbridge from Intel. The resulting design gives the user USB 2.0 on all ports.
Comparison of 16 bit RDRAM and 32 bit DDR-SDRAM.
In this latest comparison, there are six boards with the 850E chipset, which Intel will hopefully develop further, because ever since the launch of the Intel 850 more than a year and a half ago (November 2000), pretty much nothing has happened. The Northbridge and Southbridge are identical, and only a few modifications have been made for the new Northwood core.