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The 9xx Family

The newest 9xx-series chipsets, all of which use the same ICH6 family of I/O controller hubs, include:

  • 925XE Express
  • 915PL Express
  • 915GV Express
  • 915GL Express
  • 910GL Express

The following sections discuss the new features of these chipsets in detail.

Intel 925XE Express Chipset

The 925XE Express chipset is a faster version of the 925X Express chipset I discussed in detail in my article "Partners for Prescott, Part II." It differs from the 925X in three ways:

  • Supports 1066MHz front-side-bus Pentium 4 processors
  • Supports only Pentium 4 processors built using the 90-namometer (.09 micron) process
  • Lacks support for ECC memory

It uses the 82925XE Memory Controller Hub instead of the 82925X MCH used by the 925X, but uses the same I/O Controller Hub (ICH 6 family). Other features are the same as the 925X. See my article "Partners for Prescott Part 2" http://www.quepublishing.com/articles/article.asp?p=347272&seqNum=2 for complete details on the 925X.

Intel motherboards using this chipset include:

Major third-party motherboard makers have also adopted this chipset to achieve high-performance PCI-Express-compatible motherboards.

Intel 915PL Express Chipset

The Intel 915PL Express chipset is a simplified version of the 915P Express chipset I discussed in "Partners for Prescott: Part 2" http://www.quepublishing.com/articles/article.asp?p=347272&seqNum=3.

The major differences between the 915PL and 915P include:

  • no support for DDR2 memory
  • 2GB maximum memory size

Motherboards based on this chipset provides a low-cost way to move to PCI-Express graphics without requiring a change to DDR2 memory.

At introduction, Intel did not release motherboards using this chipset, although major third-party motherboard vendors have done so. Check the Intel Desktop Boards page http://developer.intel.com/design/motherbd/products.htm to track current and future Intel motherboards which might use this chipset.

Intel 915GV Express Chipset

The Intel 915GV Express chipset is a simplified version of the Intel 915G Express chipset I discussed in "Partners for Prescott: Part 2" http://www.quepublishing.com/articles/article.asp?p=347272&seqNum=4.

The 915GV's major difference from the 915G include:

  • no PCI-Express x16 expansion slot

The only Intel motherboard which uses the 915GV is the Intel Desktop Board D915GVWB (microATX, DDR memory, two PCI slots, one PCI-Express x1 slot, optional 10/100 ethernet LAN) http://developer.intel.com/design/motherbd/wb/index.htm

Major third-party motherboard makers have also adopted this chipset for industrial or standard desktop PCs with integrated video.

Intel 915GL Express Chipset

The Intel 915GL Express chipset is also a simplified version of the Intel 915G Express chipset I discussed in "Partners for Prescott: Part 2" http://www.quepublishing.com/articles/article.asp?p=347272&seqNum=4.

The 915GL's major differences from the 915G include

  • no PCI-Express x16 expansion slot
  • no support for DDR2 memory

At introduction, Intel did not release motherboards using this chipset, although major third-party motherboard vendors have done so. Check the Intel Desktop Boards page http://developer.intel.com/design/motherbd/products.htm to track current and future Intel motherboards which might use this chipset.

Although this chipset does not support PCI-Express x16, motherboard vendor ASRock (http://www.asrock.com) has created a motherboard based on this chipset which includes a PCI-Express x4 slot (AGI Express) which supports many PCI-Express x16 video cards. The P4Dual-915GL http://www.asrock.com/news/P4Dual-915GL.htm also supports many AGP 8x cards.

Intel 910GL Express Chipset

The lowest-performance member of the 9xx chipset family is the 910GL Express chipset. As you can see from its major features, the 910GL is designed as an economy chipset for value PCs.

Major features of this chipset include:

  • Support for 533MHz front-side-bus Pentium 4 and Celeron 4 processors using Socket 775 or Socket 478
  • Dual-channel DDR memory running at 400MHz or 333MHz
  • 2GB maximum memory
  • Integrated graphics (Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900)
  • PCI-Express x4

Only the Intel Desktop Board 910GLDW (microATX, DDR memory, two PCI slots, one PCI-Express x1 slot, optional 10/100 ethernet LAN) use this chipset: http://developer.intel.com/design/motherbd/dw/index.htm

Major third-party motherboard makers also use the 910GL chipset for entry-level and value systems.

Comparing 9xx-Series Chipsets

Table 1 compares the major features of the current and new 9xx-series chipsets's Memory Controller and Graphics Memory Controller Hubs. Because all 9xx-series chipsets use the same ICH6-series I/O Controller Hub, features provided by the I/O Controller Hub are not listed in Table 1.

Table 1 – Intel 9xx Chipset Comparison

 

Chipsets

Feature

910GL

915GL

915GV

915G

915PL

915P

925X

925XE

Dual-channel DDR memory

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Dual-channel DDR2 memory

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

533MHz FSB support

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

800MHz FSB support

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

1066MHz FSB support

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Integrated Graphics

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

PCI-Express x16 video support

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Table 2 helps you choose the best 9xx-series chipset for your needs.

Table 2 – 9xx Chipset Benefits

Benefit

910GL

915GL

915GV

915G

915PL

915P

925X

925XE

Low-cost system with integrated graphics

X

X

X

 

 

 

 

 

Integrated graphics with optional upgrade to PCI-Express x16 graphics later

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

 

Low-cost system with PCI-Express x16 graphics support

 

 

 

 

X

 

 

 

Motherboards based on this chipset might support both DDR and DDR2 memory for easy upgrades

 

 

X

X

 

X

 

 

Highest performance

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

X

Highest performance with error-corrected (ECC) memory option

 

 

 

 

 

 

X

 

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