- 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
Looking Ahead: Future Chipsets & Mobos
The next year will bring new chipsets, sockets, and motherboards
The last year has been fairly static in the chipsets and mobos category; this is about to changebig-time.
The first big release of the year belongs to Intel, and should be available by the time you're reading this. Code-named Grantsdale, Intel's upcoming new chipset is a big move for the PC industry with its support for PCI Express, DDR2, and PCI Express for Graphics, the upcoming replacement for AGP.
Figure 3.17 BTX is Intel's new specification for motherboard and case design. The goal: increased cooling.
Grantsdale supports both PCI Expressa serial bus that promises much higher data transfer ratesand PCI devices. It also dumps AGP in favor of PCI Express for Graphics. Grantsdale is paired with Intel's new south bridge, the ICH6, which adds a crap-load more USB and Serial ATA ports. The chipset should also support both DDR and DDR2 RAM types.
The biggest shift for Grantsdale, however, is that it features the debut of Intel's High Definition Audio, which integrates high-quality, 7.1, 24-bit sound capabilities onto the motherboard. While you'll still want to use a soundcard in order to avoid the CPU performance hit onboard audio creates, this development means that you won't have to spend megabucks on an add-in card to get rich, vibrant sound.