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  i845D, SiS 645, P4X266, DDR on the Pentium 4 platform 
  Jan 03, 2002, 08:30am EST 

New Features?

By: Sander Sassen

Well, quite frankly if you're looking for new features such as ATA133 or a 533MHz FSB the i845D doesn't support these features yet. The upcoming i845G should however, but that chipset's release is at least six months away. So what's left other than the DDR SDRAM support? Nothing really, the i845D is simply identical to the i845 with the addition of DDR SDRAM support.

If you take a closer look at the i845D's performance you'll see that some of the more feature-rich i845 motherboards such as Asus' P4B come pretty close when running out of spec. The Asus P4B actually has support for higher busspeeds up to 200MHz. With high quality SDRAM we were able to get it up to 170MHz whilst maintaining absolute stability, not a simple feat as most of the other i845 boards in our labs weren't able to do this. At these higher busspeeds the performance gap between the i845 and the i845D was narrowed by approximately 10%, not a bad accomplishment.

That doesn't make the i845D a bad chipset though, the core logic is easily one of the most advanced Intel has designed in the past few years. The data buffers and write cache as used in the chipset do work wonders to reduce memory latency and up the bandwidth and provide a steady stream of data to the CPU and other parts of the system. Although these two features didn't do much for SDRAM on the i845, in combination with DDR SDRAM this will be a combination that'll put the i845D in the i850's league.

Also, the i845D is a very stable chipset, identical to the first shipment of i845 motherboards that arrived here, we didn't see any issues or problems, which is a good indication that Intel did do their homework and both the i845 and i845D are very stable and mature even this early on. Most chipsets that are newly introduced need a few months before all the bugs are ironed out, fortunately the i845D is able to offer great stability upon its introduction.

1. Introduction
2. New Features?
3. Testing and Methodology
4. i845D Performance
5. Conclusion

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