Is an i810e mobo a good buy?
Looks like it's lagging a bit in the gaming stakes
The Taiwanese manufacturers we met at Computex earlier this year gave a great collective yawn to Intel's big 810 push. That yawn turned into a snarl when repeated problems with the initial iteration meant problems for those mobo makers who decided to give it a whirl. So now the i810e chipset is in place, is it being welcomed with open arms? The answer appears to be no. The chipset is aimed at the relatively high-end of the market, and supports Pentium IIIs and close cousin of the Pentium II, the Celeron. But the 810e feature set is such that those people who buy a machine might get very frustrated, and very quickly. Having a bright shiny fast Pentium III sitting in your desktop is fine, but from time to time, many PC users play games and this chipset is not really the best there is on offer. The chipset uses the ill-fated i740 graphics chip, which most of the gaming community considers to be not particularly groovy. Further, these low spec integrated graphics do not provide the option to upgrade to AGP video support. In other words, there is no AGP slot support. There is, however, a long list of vendors including some of the biggest who make systems that use the i810e chipset. When Tom's Hardware Page looked at the chipset earlier this year, it concluded that the i810 "could soon fall short in performance". That now seems to have come to pass. So if it's games you'll be playing on your PC, check which bit of circuitry is inside the box. The i810e does, however, have one advantage. It supports the 133MHz front side bus. And until Intel ships the i820, that will have to do unless you want to buy the OR840... ®
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