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Product: Pentium 4 2.53GHz & Intel D850EMV2 Motherboard
Company: Intel
Estimated Street Price:
Review By: Julien Jay

i82850e Chipset

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: CPU Architecture
3: SSE2 Instructions & P4 2.53GHz CPU Design
4: Intel i82850e Chipset
5: Intel D850EMV2 Motherboard
6: Intel D850EMV2 Advanced Features
7: Synthetic Benchmarks
8: Games Benchmarks
9: Applications Benchmarks
10: Benchmarks analysis

   To support Pentium 4 with a 533MHz FSB, Intel has released a new i850e chipset. Technically Intel i850e chipset is strictly identical to the well known i850. It’s just a different stepping that adds support for processors with a 533MHz FSB, while continuing to support processors with a 400MHz FSB.  Thus the specifications of the Intel i850 chipset remain the same. This robust chipset brings almost all the features advanced users request. It’s composed of two chips the MCH (memory controller hub) i82850E and the ICH (I/O controller hub) i82801BA. This last component is also known as the ICH2. i850e chipset supports the following bus: a quad pumped 133 MHz bus designed only for Pentium 4, a double sided channel RDRAM bus, an 1.5v AGP 4x bus, and a Commuter Bus to the South SideJ. Due to the architecture of the i850e chipset, it'll be compatible in the future with AGP 8x graphics cards (it means it'll exploit flawlessly AGP 8x graphics cards in 4x).

Intel Pentium 4 & Intel i850e Chipset

The i850e is still the chipset of choice for RAMBUS memory. The i850e chipset manages Rambus memory marvellously by using a double-sided RDRAM channel in order to access two RDRAM barrettes at a time in order to hold simultaneously the bandwidth reaching the incredibly high transfer rate of 4.266 GB/s with new Rambus PC1066. The surprising thing is that actually the i850e chipset is officially announced to support only RAMBUS PC800 memory. Plus you have to know that your Rambus PC800 memory should be a 40ns one: old 45ns Rambus PC800 sticks won’t work with the i850e chipset. Despite Intel’s claims, the Intel i850e supports the new RAMBUS PC 1066 memory which is the best choice to achieve top notch performance with the new 533MHz processor bus. Surprisingly Intel doesn’t officially recommend the use of this memory, yet. New i850e based motherboards from manufacturers like Asus are announced to natively support RAMBUS PC1066 memory plus they’ll let you overclock existing PC800 sticks to 1066MHz, at your own risk of course.

Despite Intel has released the ICH 4 component, the i850e chipset still uses the “old school” ICH 2 to save the time and cost of a new validation process that would have been required. This is no big deal, since the ICH 4 only adds native support for USB 2.0 in comparison to the ICH 2. The ICH2 component integrates some interesting features! It delivers twice the I/O bandwidth over traditional bridge architectures and provides dedicated data paths to fully optimise the additional bandwidth. The ICH2 directly connects to graphics and memory for fast access to peripherals and provides a higher system level performance. It now supports UDMA 100 technology for high speed IDE hard disks (with backward compatibility for PIO4, UDMA33/66 hard disks). It also comes with four USB 1.1 controllers that feature a 24 MB/s bandwidth across the four ports resulting in a significant increase over regular USB 1.1 controllers, thus allowing an intensive use of USB devices. Depending on the motherboard you’ll choose the ICH2 chip may support full surround sound with up to six channels AC’ 97 audio and 10/100 network connections. The i850e chipset sets the record high bandwidth data transfer amount of 1 GB/s for the AGP 4x connector delivering astonishing 3D graphics (it also supports AGP fast write technology).

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