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Intel readies mainstream discrete dual-core chipset

What, no integrated graphics?

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Intel will begin sampling its latest integrated chipset for desktop systems at the end of the month, but its next mainstream release will be a discrete chipset, according to motherboard makers.

Sources cited by DigiTimes today claim the 945PL will ship in September for low-end dual-core Pentium D-based systems. They say the chipset will operate both 533MHz and 800MHz frontside bus speeds, and support dual-channel 533MHz DDR 2 memory, along with 400MHz DDR.

It's a surprising launch, given the way integrated chipsets have come to dominate the graphics chip market, particularly at the low- to mid-range. The likes of ATI and Nvidia are fighting back with low-cost cards, but it's hard to compete with graphics engines built into the chipset.

Still, there's obviously demand for such a product, or Intel wouldn't be planning to supply it. Presumably the sweet spot lies just below today's 945P and above the integrated 945G.

The launch of the 945GZ is expected to ship later this year - possibly even early 2006 - and target dual-core Celeron D chips. It contains Intel's GMA 950 graphics engine, and supports single-channel 533MHz DDR2 and 400MHz DDR memory. Like the 945PL, it will operate both 533MHz and 800MHz FSBs. ®

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