Intel tenders advice on slot-to-sockets

System builders get lowdown on minimal requirements

In a letter Intel sent to its channel partners on the 18th of January (see link below), the firm said that because of tightness in supplies, and a rapid move from Slot 1 (SECC2) packaging to flip-chip (FC-PGA) packaging, it was recommending the use of slot-to-socket adaptors. Indeed, earlier this year, there were strong indications from some of Intel's PC manufacturer customers that it could offer its own workaround device, to make up for the gap in mobo support. The relevant part of the letter to distributors and dealers said: "Intel is now shipping CA810E desktop boards to support Pentium III processors in FC-PGA package and is planning additional board offerings. Other motherboard vendors are also shipping socketed boards that support Pentium III processors in FC-PGA package. For more information about boards and slot-to-socket adapters go to the Technical Center on the IPD Net." (IPD Net is Intel's channel site, closed to the general public). Now resellers, forced to use the slot-to-socket solution, have been issued with a document outlining the adaptors that in Intel's eyes meet "minimal funtional and voltage requirements of the Pentium III processor in the FC-PGA package". The table in this document outlines the firm, the name of the product, and the 242 (Slot 1) connector mobos based on the Intel's 440BX AGPset which passed the tests. Summarised, these are: Gigabyte The GA-6R7 (rev 1.1.) used with the GA-BX2000 and the GA-6BX. Asus The S370-133 (rev 1.01) and mobos P3B-f, P2B-F, P2B-B and the P2B. MicroStar The MS-6905 Master (rev 2.0) and mobos BXMaster, MS-6163 Pro, MS-6119. MagicPro The MP-A8++ (rev 4.5) in mobos the MP-6DBX, the MP-686JBX and the MP-6ABX2. Soltek The SL-02A++ (rev 4.5) and SL-02D (rev 4.5), used with the SL-67EB and the SL-67EB+ Iwill The Slocket III (rev 0.9) used with the BD100plus and the BS100. The document then lists slot-to-socket adaptors that have failed in one or more of the following specs: AGTL+ Signal Integrity and/or voltage levels of Vcc, Vtt and/or VccCMOS. Those adaptors are Gigabyte's GA-6R7 (superseded by a newer version, above), Iwill's Slocket II (no longer shipping), The MicroStar MS-6905 rev 1.0 and the Master rev 1.1 (superseded by a newer version above), the MagicPro MP-A8+ rev 4.0 (again superseded above), the Soltek SL-02A+ rev 4.0 (superseded). Others which have failed Intel's internal tests, according to the document are Azza's 370 CPU Card 3.2, Fastfame's 370SPC rev 1.0, Epox' EP-S1C revs 0.5 and 0.6, FIC's CK71 rev M99A05, 2theMax' EP-S1C rev 0.5, Eagles CM-1 and lastly the Super Slocket III CPU Card rev 1.0, produced by that top firm Unknown. Intel includes a warning at the bottom of the document which runs: "Important. Verify the motherboard and SSA revision-level with the motherboard manufacturer to ensure they have tested for an validated compatibility with the Intel Pentium III processor for a specific revision. Contact the motherboard manufacturer for additional motherboards supporting the Intel Pentium III processor." But iWill has reacted angrily to these suggestions. Todd Burch, in the marketing department at iWill US, said: "We at Iwill would like to clarify this:  Iwill's Slocket 2 has NOT stopped shipping, and in fact the newer version has been improved to support dual Coppermine processors.  We've had sensational results with our DS133-R dual Slot 1 i820 motherboard, which has been considered "one of the most stable solutions available."  iWill's problem, we would suggest, is with Intel, not us. Very arcane stuff. But not to system builders and resellers building machines, nor to people buying machines which include such adaptors... ® See Also Intel confirms huge Pentium III shortage

Sponsored: How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers