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X-bit labs readers know very well that today Intel Corporation launches its new i865-series chipsets and the Pentium 4 processors with 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus as well as the Hyper-Threading technology support. Computer hardware enthusiasts who do not want to spend $600-$800 on a Pentium 4 3.0GHz chip and a Intel 875P-based mainboard are now waiting for the more affordable new family of processors and chipsets.

Before you leave us for a couple of hours to conquer a computer hardware store nearby for a combination of a CPU, a mainboard and maybe even something else, let us refresh our memory with some technical specifications.

Intel Springdale also known as i865 chipsets are available in three different versions: i865P, i865PE and i865G. i865PE and i865G support, AGP 8x and dual-channel DDR SDRAM memory, up to PC3200 specifications, though, such memory does not function at 400MHz with all PSBs, so, be aware. There is an important difference between i865P and i865PE: the former does not support 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus and the new processors with such PSBs; also it cannot utilise PC3200 memory. On Friday we reported that there are some fraudsters who sell i865P-based mainboards with i865PE mark. Keep your eyes open and do not let anybody to fool you. i865G supports both 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus and dual-channel PC3200 memory, but it also features Intel Extreme Graphics 2. We will tell you later what actually Intel Extreme Graphics 2 is, or maybe even review it sometimes in future.

All i865-series chipsets may be equipped with ICH5 or ICH5R I/O controllers. Both support up to 8 USB 2.0 ports, 2 Parallel ATA-33/66/100 and 2 Serial ATA-150 ports as well as 6-channel AC’97 audio. The ICH5R also provides software RAID for Serial ATA-150 drives.

Please keep in mind that you may run in some difficulties with first i865P/i865PE/i865G-based mainboards. BIOS or drivers supplied with the devices may sometime not be mature enough, furthermore, use only quality DDR SDRAM memory modules with Springdale since there may be some glitches with cheap memory sticks. Read this news-story for more information.

It is very positive for Intel’s 2003 platforms that all of them are ready for Prescott processors that are scheduled to come in late 2003 and to be available on the market as Intel’s top CPUs for at least 6 months when they will be replaced by code-named Tejas processors with new Sockets and chipsets.

Intel’s new Pentium 4 processors are just the same Northwood chips with 512KB of L2 cache and made using 0.13 micron technology. All the CPUs support the Hyper-Threading technology and 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus, these are two main features everybody like the new processors for. Just like the predecessors, the new chips will have different VIDs, so, you will never know the core-voltage of your processor before you install it.

Intel Pentium 4 2.40C, 2.60C and 2.80C processors are already nearly available for $178, $218 and $278 in quantities starting from 1000 units. Leading mainboard makers have either started to sell their mainboards with new chipsets or will begin in a few days or hours.

Later this year VIA Technologies, Silicon Integrated Systems and ATI Technologies will roll out their own chipsets to support the Pentium 4 chips with 800MHz PSB with or without integrated graphics cores.

Be sure to read our reviews of i865PE and i875P platforms:

PS. Expect the official announcement of the new products coming later today straight from Intel Corp..

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