EPoX reportedly plans to follow Albatron and ABIT and launch a series of mainboards based on the i845GE and i845PE chipsets, but with “beyond 533MHz” Quad Pumped Bus support. The company seems to be a bit slyer than its rivals and does not directly declare 800MHz QPB support, but restricts with “533MHz+” option.
Since SiS and ATI will not be able to launch their chipsets with native 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus support in the first half of the year, while the market may need low-cost solutions for new processors with faster PSB and the Hyper-Threading technology, numerous mainboard makers may offer inexpensive solutions powered by previous generation of chipsets, namely i845GE and i845PE. Those mainboard manufacturers who still have a lot of such core-logic sets in stocks are tremendously interested in launching such devices. For instance, EPoX will offer five products based on i845GE and i845PE chipsets with “800” suffix in the brand-name and with “beyond 533MHz” Quad Pumped Bus official support.
Here is the brief list of technical specifications of the forthcoming i845PE (EP-4PEA800, EP-4PEA800I) and i845GE (EP-4GEA800, EP-4GEA800I, EP-4GEM800I) mainboards:
- Support Socket 478 Pentium 4/Celeron processors with 400/533 and probably even 800MHz (with overclocking) FSB with 3.06GHz clock-speed and above;
- Can take advantage of the CPUs with the Hyper-Threading technology enabled;
- i845PE/GE chipsets, including i82845PE/GE MCH and i82801DA ICH4;
- 3 DIMM slots for up to 2GB of PC2100, PC2700 or faster DDR SDRAM memory;
- 5 PCI slots and 1 AGP 4x slot (EP-4GEM800I will have less than 5 PCI slots since it utilises microATX);
- 2-channel ATA-100/66/33 integrated controller;
- USB 2.0 ports;
- 10/100Mbit/s Ethernet adapter (for EP-4GEA800I, EP-4GEM800I and EP-4PEA800I) from VIA (VT6105);
- 6-channel audio-solution;
- Overclocking functions, including Vcore, Vmem and Vagp adjusting; allows to set FSB:DDR dividers and independently clock PCI and AGP buses;
- ATX Form Factor (EP-4GEM800I is microATX).
According to Hartware.net web-site, the mainboards will be priced as follows:
- EP-4PEA800 – 109 Euro;
- EP-4PEA800I – 114 Euro;
- EP-4GEA800 – 119 Euro;
- EP-4GEA800I – 124 Euro;
- EP-4GEM800I – Price to be determined;
EPoX’s new mainboards should appear in retail quite soon.