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Happy New Year 2014!
Happy 2012 Everybody
iMod for Home Take II
iMod - Versatility for Home and Portable
Personal Audio Journey - Part III
Anthony Gallo Reference 3.1
Relentless Pursuit of Excellence.. Madness Part Deux!

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Table of Contents
Introduction
Brookdale
ABit BL7 RAID
ABit BL7 RAID - An indepth look
IWill P4S
IWill P4S - An indepth look
IWill P4S - Onboard Audio
Benchmarking
To buy or not to buy

Reviews

ABit BL7 RAID vs IWill P4S
Page 1 of 9
Author: Dracon
Date of review: 02-November-2001
Type Of Review: Mainboards

Introduction
Since the Pentium 4 was released last year, most people opting for a Pentium 4 system had to get a new motherboard, as only 1 chipset supported it - the i850. This doesn't come unexpected, as most new CPUs always come with a brand new generation of chipsets anyway. But what really put people off, was the fact that the i850 chipset supporting the Pentium 4 accepts nothing else but Rambus memory, or more commonly known as RDRAM.

Last year, RDRAM prices was considerably more expensive than any other type of memory available, including ECC RAM, albeit times have changed. I still remember Intel bundling Intel Pentium 4 CPUs with RDRAM during a promotion to push their sales. Notwithstanding the marketing hype, many continued to stave off the platform due to its high RDRAM prices. In fact, many started looking at alternatives - like AMD's new breed of Athlons.

Despite the early hiccups of the VIA chipset drivers and CPU thermal problems, AMD systems started to slowly gain acceptance amongst the masses. This became compounded when news of the lower-clocked Athlons could actually outperform a higher-clocked Pentium 4 system.

Today, prices of an obseolete PIII 1 GHz are even higher than a P4 1.5 GHz. In an effort to boost people onto the P4 wagon, P4 prices were slashed drastically by Intel. Yet, although P4 CPU prices have certainly fallen, the prices of i850 motherboards haven't dropped in tandem. AMD motherboards are still USD$30-50 cheaper than P4 boards, depending on features like RAID availability, etc.


The new i845 the supports PC133 SDRAM


Because of the pricey Rambus memory and AMD's market penetration, Intel had to react. In so doing, they acceded the requests to various Intel supporters, manufacturing a controller chipset useable with SDRAM. The i845, released about a month ago, supports PC133 SDRAM instead of the costlier Rambus. And the DDR version of the i845 will soon be available next year, though I'm not sure how much an impact it will help Intel sales. About the same time, the i845 became available and VIA's own P4X266 chipset, which supported the Pentium 4 with DDR SDRAM, was officially released.


VIA's P4X266 chipset for Pentium 4 would definitely be a match for the i845


FYI, both Intel and VIA are currently suing each other. VIA, for their release of the P4X266 and P4M266 chipsets which violates Intel patents and are not protected by a licence; and Intel, for their violation of a Centaur patent used in the Pentium 4. VIA bought Centaur from California-based Integrated Device Technology in 1999, and Centaur technology now powers the C3 processor, dubbed 'Cyrix III'. In a tit for tat move, it was a strategy by VIA to keep Intel off their backs.




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