Pentium 4 533 chipsets en masse
Wherever you look at CeBIT, one thing is not overlooked by any motherboard manufacturer: the new motherboards with chipsets for the Pentium 4 with 533 MHz front-side bus. Intel has so far not even officially confirmed that its Pentium 4 CPUs will soon be operated with a 133 (533 QDR) MHz front-side bus.
But nobody has any doubts about this anymore and so the manufacturers presented at CeBIT also eagerly their new chipsets, which will support this upscale FSB. The range extends from the SiS645DX, SiS648, SiS655 to the i845E, i850E and i845G, which Epox was the only manufacturer to show with an operable circuit board behind closed doors.
The trend towards DDR-RAM systems for the Pentium 4 continues to increase and for this very reason more and more mainboard manufacturers are increasingly adopting the Pentium 4 train. Some only have concerns about VIA chipsets for the Pentium 4 because of the unclear legal situation and are holding back for the time being.
The SiS 645DX is the successor to the SiS645 and now offers compared to its predecessor an FSB of 100 (400 QDR) and 133 MHz (533 QDR). SiS comments on this chipset as follows: 'SiS645DX represents the first over clocking 533 with DDR333 chipset.' Of course, the term 'over clocking' is particularly important. Unfortunately, SiS did not disclose whether it is just an overclocked SiS 645, as this description suggests. So there is still some uncertainty here.
The SiS 648, on the other hand, comes up with features that put memory manufacturers in trouble again. In addition to AGP 8x, it also offers DDR-RAM 400 support. SiS does not seem to be bothered by the fact that no DDR-RAM 400 modules will be available for sale in the foreseeable future. Given the current problems implementing DDR333, DDR400 ismaybe a little hasty. But at least one keeps this option open for the future without having to resort to a new chip again. In conjunction with the SiS963 southbridge, the boards also have USB 2.0 and Firewire.
Also promises very interesting to be the SiS655. In addition to the obligatory support of the 133 Mhz (533 QDR) front-side bus, it offers a two-channel connection for DDR266 and DDR333. By distributing the memory queries over two modules, the maximum data transfer rate at 133 MHz (533 QDR) FSB can be increased from 4.3 GByte to 5.4 GByte. This technology is already being used successfully in Intel's i850 for Rambus and Pentium 4 and Nvidia's nForce 415 and 420 for the AMD Athlon and DDR-RAM.
The i845E from Intel also offers the FSB of 133 MHz new ICH4 southbridge that provides USB 2.0 support. Instead of implementing features such as AGP 8x that have not yet been used, Intel is sticking to AGP 4x and DDR266 with the i845E for the time being.
We will certainly hear more of all these chipsets in the future, and they will show that USB 2.0 will finally achieve a breakthrough, since all manufacturers are now relying on it and integrating it into their products. At the last CeBIT, SiS announced that they would only support Firewire but not USB 2.0. This year it looked completely different again.