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Intel Goes DDR - Do We Really Care?

Comparison: All Chipsets For The Pentium 4

ChipsatzIntel 850Intel 845DIntel 845SiS 645VIA P4X266AVIA P4X266
IntroductionJanuary 2001December 2001July 2001November 2001December 2001August 2001
Supported ProcessorsIntel Pentium 4Intel Pentium 4Intel Pentium 4Intel Pentium 4Intel Pentium 4Intel Pentium 4
SMP-SupportYesNoNoNoNoNo
NorthbridgeIntel KC82850Intel 82845Intel 82845SiS 645VIA P4X266AVIA VT8753
SouthbridgeIntel 82801 BAIntel 82801 BAIntel 82801 BASiS 961VIA VT8233CEVIA VT8233
Memory Clock400 MHz RDRAM100/133 MHz DDR-SDRAM100/133 MHz SDRAM100/133/166 MHz DDR-SDRAM100/133 MHz DDR-SDRAM100/133 MHz SDR/DDR
Asynchronous Memory ClockYesYesYesYesYesYes
Max. No. of Memory Slots434334
Max. Amount Of Memory2048 MB2048 MB2048 MB3072 MB3072 MB4096 MB
Memory SupportRDRAM (PC600, PC800)DDR-SDRAM (PC2100, PC1600)SDRAM (PC133)DDR-SDRAM (PC2100, PC1600, PC2700 )DDR-SDRAM (PC2100, PC1600)DDR-SDRAM (PC2100, PC1600)
No. Of Memory Channels211111
Max. Memory Bandwidth3200 MB/s2133 MB/s1066 MB/s2666 MB/s2133 MB/s2133 MB/s
Ultra-DMA/33/66/100Yes/Yes/YesYes/Yes/YesYes/Yes/YesYes/Yes/YesYes/Yes/YesYes/Yes/Yes
Ultra-DMA/133NoNoNoNoYesNo
No. Of USB Ports446666
USB 2.0NoNoYesYesYesNo
max. No of PCI-Slots666665

This table shows all chipsets for the Pentium 4 platform. The latest one is VIA's P4X266A which will be upgraded soon with USB 2.0 and UltraATA/133 (both by coming with a new south bridge chip).

The table above lists all chipsets for the Pentium 4. Intel's 850 is the flagship product using RDRAM memory. As a result, it is both the most expensive but also one of the fastest P4-chipset. The i845 is available in two versions. There is the 'old' 845 for PC133 SDRAM as well as the today released i845D for DDR-SDRAM. Don't think that these two are different products. As a matter of fact, they are the same silicon. According to rumors and conspiracy theories, the reason for the late introduction of DDR support is a license agreement between Intel and Rambus Inc.