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As reported previously, Intel Corporation unveiled its new chipsets as well as processors making the way for brand-new PCI Express, DDR2 SDRAM and High-Definition Audio technologies. The products are available right now and enable numerous new usage models for personal computers.

PCI Express Chipsets Announced

The new family of core-logic sets from Intel – i915G, i915P, i925X Express and derivatives – bring dual-channel DDR2 SDRAM memory, PCI Express x16 and x1 lanes for next-generation add-in cards, the industry’s first integrated graphics core with DirectX 9.0 support – Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (i915G only), 4 Serial ATA-150, High-Definition 7.1 Audio as well as some other important capabilities, such as integrated WLAN or promising RAID technologies.

The Intel’s i925X Express core-logic delivers a bit higher performance compared to the i915P Express chipset-based platforms due to optimizations of memory controller. Additionally, the i925X Express cannot work with previous-generation DDR memory, while the less expensive and fast i915P maintains compatibility with more widely-spread DDR SDRAM memory standard.

“The Intel 925X Express chipset’s high performance architecture, delivers additional system-level performance via enhanced memory pipelining that enables a higher utilization of each memory channel, improving data access. The result is a performance optimized platform optimizing data transfers between the processor and system memory for platforms configured with 800MHz system bus and DDR2 memory. The new Memory Controller Hub design includes wider internal data buses that support dual-channel DDR2 memory technology at 533MHz or 8.53 GB/s of peak memory bandwidth, for improved platform  performance. The new architecture also supports both asynchronous and true isochronous data traffic, with dedicated internal pipelines and specialized arbitration. In addition, the Intel 925X MCH has improved ‘electricals’ with optimized ball-out for better latency with an additional bypass enabled. These enhancements enable the Intel 925X Express chipset to take full advantage of the performance of these new high-speed interfaces,” said sources close to Intel.

Pin-less Processors Unveiled

Along with the new chipsets for platforms, Intel brings a new type of processors’ packaging in addition to a number of new chips. From now on Intel’s chips will not have pins on its substrate, but will be installed into a special socket – the Socket T – that has its own pins to connect the chip.

A number of mainboard makers criticized Intel for the Socket T also referred as Socket 775 for its fragility. Some mainboard makers may release i925X and i915P Express chipsets-based platforms with slightly outdated Socket 478 that is not fragile.

The new LGA775 Pentium 4 processors are based on the Prescott core and marked according to Intel’s recently unveiled naming scheme. Intel Pentium 4 processors models 560, 550, 540, 530 and 520 functioning at 3.60GHz, 3.40GHz, 3.20GHz, 3.00GHz and 2.80GHz are immediately available for $637, $417, $278, $218 and $178 in business quantities. Additionally, Intel supplies Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor 3.40GHz with 2MB L3 cache for extreme enthusiasts for $999 in quantities exceeding 1000 units.

X-bit labs has a review of Intel’s new microprocessors along with i925X Express chipset with performance tests.

Multimedia for Digital Home

With the new chipsets Intel paid a lot of attention to multimedia capabilities of the chipsets: the new family of core-logic provides integrated DirectX 9.0 graphics core, High Definition Audio with support for 7.1 speakers, Matrix Storage Technology – an array or RAID capabilities – as well as WLAN connectivity called –Wireless Connect Technology.

According to Intel’s spokespersons, the new features of the i915 and i925X chipsets will innovate usage models of desktop computers.

Intel Wireless Connect Technology requires an Intel 82801FW or RW (ICH6W or RW) I/O Controller Hub and purchase of a separate Intel PRO/Wireless 2225BG Network Connection solution. Availability of the latter will be limited.

Intel said systems and mainboards with these processors and chipsets are currently shipping in volume with solutions available from major OEMs and more than 150000 Intel Resellers around the world.

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