Quite a few have pointed out to me that the manuals for the Asus P4C800 and P4P800 say in no uncertain terms that these motherboards will support Prescott chips.
I should note that the versions for these manuals will made prior to this story breaking.
Should it prove to be the case that at least the initial Prescotts for some reason do not work with these mobos, owners ought to be able to seek replacement, or failing that, sue somebody.
The big problem will be “whom?” Asus? Intel? We don’t know enough to venture a guess at this point.
Xbit Labs posted an article yesterday that essentially said many if not most 865/875 boards should be fine, but nobody wants to admit publicly to it.
Well, at least they’re following up on the story. Unfortunately, not all are.
This story started here. It said that current mobos wouldn’t work due to “a mandatory voltage regulation spec change from VIN 1.0 to VIN 1.5.”
Some places repeated this language like photocopy machines; they didn’t look into what they were saying, either.
As we pointed out before, there is no VIN standard. All VIN stands for is “voltage input.” Outside of this article (and those referring to it), that’s the only way the term is used.
Now there is an Intel voltage regulation standard, but it’s called VRD (which is a change of name from VRM), but the version for that is 10.0.
You’d think the author, who just happens to be the regular motherboard reviewer for a website, would know that, check it before publishing, or at the very least check it after others questioned it and make any necessary corrections. But I guess not.
But what is most amazing about this story is that the author has gone completely deaf-and-dumb on the subject. No followup, no anything.
You would think that the author ought to be interested in this, if only for the sake of those in his audience who have or want to buy an 865/875 platform.
But again, I guess not.
To me, that’s dropping the ball.
To me, when you start a story based on something a mobo manufacturer wouldn’t say publicly that affects more people than anything else going on, you don’t just drop the bombshell and walk away from it. Your audience deserves more than that.
You ought to persue the story, find out what you can, and report what you find. Even if the answer is “I can’t find out any more.”
Otherwise, you come across as just being a messenger boy for the manufacturers, not able to do anything more than repeat what you’ve been told.
But that’s me.
Is This The Real Reason?
We had speculated a while back that the likely area of the problem was in the electrical and thermal specifications of these motherboards.
PC Watch Japan had an article yesterday which said that Prescott chewed up a lot more power than anticipated.
The link above isn’t in English, but this Babelfish translation is (it starts about a third of the way down the page).
Basically, it says that the increased wattage from Prescott will significantly increase the electrical and thermal burden a mobo will have to bear. So much so that the initial Prescott specs wouldn’t cut it.
What To Do?
This still isn’t all too clear, but this makes a lot more sense than anything else we’ve heard up to now and at least explains the reluctance of people to talk about this.
It also makes the course of action for people clear.
1) If you haven’t bought an 865/875 board yet, wait. Maybe you’ll wait a month, but what you’ll get then should meet the necessary criteria.
2) If you already have an 865/875 board, chill. First, chill yourself. (Second, consider chilling the Prescott a bit more when you get one.)
Don’t run out and buy a replacement board in a month. Your current one may well be fine; this is a difference of degree, not kind. If your mobo can handle more than the bare minimum spec, it could work perfectly fine.
Wait until after Prescott comes out, and then let somebody else be the pioneer and find out whether it works or not. I suspect a lot of people will be fine, but don’t replace until you know it’s broken.
I would also consider the use of the term “first Prescotts” rather than “Prescotts” significant.
Intel will hardly be satisfied with Prescotts chewing up that much juice, and will no doubt work very hard in subsequent steppings to get the wattage down. After all, how can they have a 5GHz or more Tejas burning up around 150 watts at default speed a year from now?
(Could this be a big boost for Hammers? Sure could, especially if Intel can’t improve the situation.)
By the time Prescotts become affordable, there may be a Prescott Palomino available which will be fine for what you have now.
In other words, there may not be a problem by the time it could become a problem for you.
So again, chill. Don’t panic, don’t pull out plastic, don’t buy a new mobo.