When Is 800MHz Not 800MHz?

A number of manufacturers are offering “800MHz” motherboards.

Uhhh, no.

These boards are just 845PE boards with maybe an additional BIOS setting or two so instead of you setting the FSB and memory to 200MHz manually, it will do that for you.

That’s it. Nothing else different. You could do the same thing yourself in a couple extra seconds.

Well, you could do it if you had a PIV that can overclock 50% from 133MHz to 200MHz, but these motherboards won’t do any better at that than “regular” 845PE boards.

Getting Rid of Old Inventory

That’s pretty much what this is, sell “performance” motherboards that will be outdated in a month to those who don’t know better.

The Canterwood motherboards that will be available in a month, and the Springdales that will become available within two are dual DDR boards. These 845PE boards are single DDR boards.

They’ll also use the ICH5 chipset, which among other things will natively support serial ATA.

There will be too kinds of ICH5 chips in Canterwoods and Springdales. The more expensive one will give you built-in SATA RAID. The cheaper one won’t. When the time comes, we’ll make it a point to point which mobos do and which don’t.

They’ll also carry a significant price premium, especially the Canterwoods. From what we’ve seen so far, the Canterwoods offer about 3-4% more performance (and perhaps more stability at very high speeds) than the Springdales, but the boards will probably cost at least $40 more than the Springdale boards.

If you’re looking for bang for the buck, Canterwood mobos are probably not for you. However, at this point, if you’re concerned about both performance and longevity, you should look at the Springdales mobos.

It may well turn out that those using 200MHz PIVs will gravitate to Canterwoods while those using 133MHz PIVs will usually choose Springdales.

At this point, 845PE boards should only be bought for systems where cutting-edge performance isn’t important but price is.

If you are interested in cutting-edge performance, pass these “800MHz” boards by and wait for the real deal.

Don’t get marketed.

Email Ed

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