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Intel's i840 is a chipset that works

AGP 50, crumbs, jings and cor blimey stone the crows

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When we met Raghu Murthi, the workstation marchitecture manager at Intel Dupont last Friday, he would not publicly comment about the i840 chipset and associated motherboard which the company launches on the 25th of October next. But he did enthuse about how his team had designed a powerful and very wonderful chipset and fell into a cunning British hack trap when we asked: "Shouldn't you guys have designed the i820 then?" To his credit, he blushed. Murthi had obviously not had time to read the now famous Intel document on how to deal with British hacks. Sources outside Intel have now supplied us with many more details about the Outrigger (OR840) mobo which is Intel's contribution to the i840 party and which supports the famous Coppermine products which the company will introduce next Monday. Err...we didn't get them from Mr Murthi. The OR840 has support for both AGP 4X and AGP Pro 5, and has four RIMM sockets which will support up to 2Gb of Rambus memory. These Rambus slots support both ECC and non-ECC direct RDRAM at speeds of 600/800MHz, and take 64Mb, 128Mb, 256Mb and 512Mb. As far as we know, the 512Mb modules, however, are not shipping yet. The board supports dual Pentium IIIs of 533MHz and above, using the 133MHz system bus, as we revealed earlier, and has five PCI slots as well as supporting Ultra ATA/66 IDE. This last Intel terms as an Xcelerator, it supports two independent channels for four IDE devices and includes DMA-66 and CD Rom support. AGP Pro 50 (5.0) is of some interest. This spec runs at data transfer rates of 266MHz and Intel claims it will achieve data throughput rates of up to 1Gbps. It has a dedicated AGP Pro 50 slot which is backwards compatible to AGP 4x. The 50 referes to 50 watts maximum power consumption and it has the same data transfer rate as AGP4x. AGP 2x, 4x and AGP Pro all use a 32 bit bus. When quad pumped, that amounts to 1056Mbps, 528Mbps when dual pumped. A large number of Intel's customers is expected to also announce support for the i840 come Monday. ®

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