- What the North Bridge and South Bridge Do
- Mobo Integration Madness
- What We Look for When Testing Motherboards
- How We Test Motherboards
- Careful Considerations for New Mobos
- Our Top Pentium 4 Chipsets: Intel's 875P and 865PE
- Also Solid: ATI's Radeon 9100 IGP
- Pentium 4 Chipset Pretenders
- Our P4 Mobo Recommendations
- The Back Story: Summer of Athlon XP
- Enter the 64-bit Chipset
- Why Hasn't Intel Integrated the Memory Controller?
- Looking to Overclock?
- Looking Ahead: Future Chipsets & Mobos
- VIA Makes Its Move
- Prepare for BTX
- New Sockets Forthcoming
Our Top Pentium 4 Chipsets: Intel's 875P and 865PE
In mid-spring 2003, Intel released its 875P chipset, which quickly became a classic. Featuring an 800MHz frontside bus and a dual-channel DDR400 memory controller, this chipset, which also features AGP 8x and Hyper-Threading, and is optimized for usage with the Pentium 4 as well, has been a mainstay in our mobos for the last 18 months.
While the 875P is Intel's top-of-the-line offering, Intel targeted the 865PE toward the more dollar-conscious budget market. Released in May 2003, the 865PE supports the same technologies as its slightly older and more powerful sibling, but can't sustain the same level of performance.
However, many motherboard manufacturers have successfully hacked the 865PE to bring its performance to near-875P levels. Our bottom line is that we recommend both the 865PE and the 875P as our top picks for P4 chipsets.
One final and important note: Intel chipsets have long been the gold standard for reliability and compatibility. Refreshingly, this means that you will see a paucity of mobo-related crashes or malfunctionsa circumstance that almost brings tears of joy to our eyes.