Intel's recent new platform launch of the i915 and i925X chipsets marked a major overhaul of the Pentium 4 system level architecture and brought with it a host of new features and technologies. At the processor and IO levels, the addition of DDR2 memory and the PCI Express interface significantly increased theoretical available system bandwidth. In addition, the new LGA775 socket and accompanying package for the P4 brings significantly better thermal characteristics to the newPrescottcore, which was getting to be known as a real nuclear reactor of a chip.
When all was said and done, Intel had made obvious enhancements to the platform and added new features to it, such as high-definition audio, Matrix RAID, and Wireless Access Point functionality. However, as we showed you in our initial launch article, the new platform wasn't hitting any performance home runs right out of the shoot, more like lucky bounce base hits, with the potential for the next man on deck to drive in a runner in scoring position.
As the weeks have rolled on since then, we've spent some time with DDR2, PCI Express Graphics cards, and a few motherboards based on the 925X chipset. We were hopeful that our friends inTaiwancould optimize Intel's new technology a bit more and push the new platform further past legacy Canterwood (i875) solutions. It looks like things are shaping up, as the first two Alderwood (i925X) boards we've been looking at recently, the ABIT AA8 DuraMAX and ASUS P5AD2 Premium, have proven themselves as impressive offerings. There are more details to come in the pages ahead.
This is just a quick refresher for those of you who have seen our initial launch article for the i925X. If you want the full monty, please call upon our article from back in the June time frame.
New features and performance benefits of the i925X chipset:
- 533MHz DDR2 DRAM Support
- PCI Express Graphics and Expansion Ports
- Intel192kHz, 24-bit, 8-channel High Definition Audio
- Intel Matrix Storage RAID 0, 1 and Combination with Native Command Queueing
- Intel Wireless Connect Technology, Access Point, NAT, WEP Encryption Support
That pretty much covers all the main salient points of Intel's new i925X chipset. Let's move on to the new ABIT AA8 DuraMAX and ASUS P5AD2 Premium.