Intel's Socket 478 or mPGA
(micro Pin Grid Array) version of the Pentium 4,
hasn't officially been released yet. We'll have
some coverage later this month when the wraps are
taken off. However, for this review, we have
gotten a hold of one of the chips for testing.
Let's have a quick look.
A new socket
rocket from Intel and a new Cooler from
things certainly are tiny when compared to T-Birds or
the Socket 423 Pentium 4.
Again, the mPGA 478
version of the Pentium 4 has, you guessed it, 478
pins. There are many more power and ground pins
in this version of the chip, which will help to
stabilize the part at speeds of 2GHz. and higher.
Intel simply didn't have the mPGA 478 ready in time
for the initial launch of the Pentium 4, so they went
with the PGA 423 package, which was more mature at the
time. However, all future clock speeds beyond
2GHz. will be in this new mPGA 478 package. The
PGA 423 design will support speeds up to 2GHz. but no
New Cooling -
Enter Thermaltake's Volcano P4:
we have a new CPU package form factor to work with,
we'll definitely need new Heat Sink and Fan combos to
keep this chip cool. We decided to go with an
HSF from a company that is well know for top notch CPU
cooling gear, Thermaltake.
Specifically, we chose their
new Volcano P4, to cool our little P4
As you can
see, in this quick shot taken from the Winbond
Hardware Doctor utility that Abit bundles with the
TH7II-RAID, the Volcano P4 does an excellent job of
cooling things down. This is a temp reading that
we took at idle in WindowME. Also, the lower
core temperature reported here is due in part to the
improved thermal characteristics of the mPGA package
of this new version P4.
Comes to life
III - You've got to love it
the star of our show, the TH7II-RAID. The BIOS
for this motherboard is supported by Abit's ever
fabulous SoftMenu III technology, for setting up the
CPU and tweaking it to your heart's content.
images for full view
more than a few notables here beyond the obvious
beauty of Abit's SoftMenu III. Yes, you can set
the Front Side Bus speed to pretty much anything you
want, all the way up to 255MHz. and in 1MHz.
increments. However, Abit includes the ability
to set the AGP Clock Divider to a fixed 66MHz. clock,
as well as 2/3 or 1/4 derivatives of the FSB.
Now, throw in CPU voltage adjustments up to 2.2V and
we are looking at some serious overclocking prowess.
under the RDRAM setting menu, there is a setting
called "Differential Current". When we asked
Abit what this was all about, they told us it really
is intended for system trouble-shooting and testing.
It really doesn't need to be adjusted unless users are
experiencing stability problems with respect to the
RDRAM. We were also told that this should rarely
ever occur if at all. Never the less, it was
included just to give you access to the feature.
Once again, "tweakability" is king with this board.
right along. Let's get this new board from Abit
on the bench and into our benchmark gauntlet.
Overclocking, SiSoft's Sandra, and The