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Intel, VIA prep ‘mainstream’ 800MHz FSB chipsets

Springdale too high-end

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Intel is preparing single memory channel versions of its 865PE 'Springdale' chipset - which supports the Pentium 4 800MHz effective bit rate frontside bus - to target the mainstream PC market.

The chip giant will offer two chipsets: the 865PL, targeted at end users, and the 865GV, which will be offered to OEMs. Both are based on the 865PE, but implement a 64-bit DDR SDRAM bus rather than Springdale's 128-but bus. The 865GV is an integrated chipset that doesn't support an off-chip graphics bus.

There does appear to be some confusion over nomenclature, however, with early discussions of the end-user part dubbing it the 865PL and more recent reports calling it the 848P, according to Taiwanese mobo-maker sources cited by DigiTimes.

Intel already offers an 865P chipset, which is essentially Springdale without the 800MHz FSB support. The question is whether Intel wants to customers to associate '865' with 'dual-channel DDR' or '800MHz FSB. The fact that the other single-channel chipset is also an '865' part, suggests the latter.

Whatever the part is called, it and the 865GV will come in under the cost of existing 865 chipsets and will target lower-end users. There's a perception that the dual-channel boards are of interest only to high-end users, leaving a gap between them and Intel's old 845 chipset.

That's a gap VIA is likely to exploit when it releases its first 'legitimate' Pentium 4 chipset, the PT800, this week. It too will offer only a single-channel DDR memory bus, presumably to target more mainstream users. ABIT mobos based on the part are expected late July/early August, pegging the chipset's release early this month.

DigiTimes' sources claim mobos based on Intel's new chipsets could hit the market in August, suggesting that the parts themselves will ship this month. The 848P/865PL will be priced at $31, the 865GV at $34. ®

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