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Product: Pentium 4 2GHz - Intel D850MD & D845HV Motherboards
Company: Intel
Estimated Street Price: $389.00 (for the CPU)
Review By: Julien Jay

i82850 Chipset

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction
2: CPU Architecture
3: SSE2 Instructions & P4 2GHz CPU Design
4: Celeron 1.2GHz & Tualatin 1.13/1.2GHz CPU Design
5: i82850 Chipset
6: i82845 Chipset
7: CNR & Audio Features
8: D850MD & D845HV Motherboards
9: Benchmarks
10: Benchmarks Analysis
11: Conclusion

   Intel i850 is a strong and robust chipset bringing all the features advanced users request. Itís composed of two chips the MCH (memory controller hub) i82850 and the ICH (I/O controller hub) i82801BA. This last component is also known as the ICH2 that comes with the i815 chipset. The brand new i850 chipset supports the following bus: a quad pumped 100 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.




Intel i850 Chipset

Intel continues on its start since they still use with the i850 chipset the RAMBUS memory standard and only that one. If Rambus memory barrettes are efficient they are simply too expensive. Intelís partnership with Rambus Corporation put Rambus into a dominant position to price their products at an incredibly high price making their really good memory alternative a luxury product (about $540 for 256 MB when the same amount of memory costs only 4 times less in SDRAM). If Rambus has already slashed down its prices a new effort would be strongly welcomed! The i850 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 rate of 2.98 GB/s.

Rambus Memory (click to enlarge)

   The i850 doesnít support DDR-SDRAM memory yet but a new version of the chipset supporting DDR should be available by the end of this year. The ICH2 component integrates some interesting new features too! It delivers twice the I/O bandwidth over traditional bridge architectures and provides dedicated data paths to fully optimize 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 two USB 1.1 controllers that feature a 24 MB/s bandwidth across the four ports resulting in a significant increase over previous USB controllers, which allows the use of high demanding USB devices like burners, video capture devices, etc. Depending on the motherboard youíll choose the ICH2 chip may support full surround sound with up to six channels ACí 97 audio and 10/100 network connections. The i850 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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