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A number of mainboard makers have introduced platforms to support the new Pentium 4 microprocessors in LGA775 packaging based on the relatively outdated i865PE core-logic that does not sport the main additions to the chipsets this year: PCI Express bus along with some I/O capabilities.

ABIT, ASUSTeK, Gigabyte and Soltek Computer now offer their mainboards based on i865PE chipset with AGP 8x and dual-channel PC3200 DDR memory support for Intel’s latest Pentium 4 incarnation in LGA775 form-factor. A source among mainboard makers told X-bit labs that the main driving force for mainboards based on i865PE chipset and designed for new processors is their lower cost compared to mainboards powered by newer chipsets. Additionally, Intel’s recent price change for Pentium 4 520 (2.80GHz) to $163 from $178 is likely to make LGA775 platforms more attractive to clients, as the same chip, but in mPGA478 packaging still costs $178.

From performance standpoint i865PE core-logic introduced a year ago provides the same level of speed as this year’s i915P: it sports 800MHz processor system bus and dual-channel PC3200 memory controller, crucial peculiarities that determine the performance level. What the i865PE does not bring is PCI Express bus for graphics and other add-in cards as well as some I/O capabilities, such as high definition audio or Matrix RAID.

Mainboard makers primarily target enthusiasts in budget with their Socket 775 platforms based on i865PE as they add some caps naturally not required by typical end-users, such as quality overclocking capabilities along with Gigabit Ethernet and some other features.

The mainboards are available now.

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