DDR333 for P4: 16 Boards with Intel 845G - Part I

Intel D845GBV: DDR266 Support, For Now


Intel mixes with the crowd: the new D845GBV offers good quality workmanship and should be successful on the retail market as well.

At first glance, the tech-savvy user will notice that Intel has sent a well-crafted board with few components into the competition. From our experience, the only other manufacturers that offer a similar design and quality are Fujitsu-Siemens and QDI. Especially striking are the SMD-style fixed voltage regulators, as well as the small number of capacitors, which are needed to control the voltage. Other boards are still equipped with larger components to save on costs. However, this strategy necessitates the use of additional resistors to correct problems with the signaling. In the test runs, the Intel board revealed no weaknesses, although overclocking fans will not be interested in it. The Front Side Bus works with the specification clock of 133.3 MHz, and it's not possible to set the CPU core voltage or the memory voltage. The target user here is quite clearly defined: PC assemblers, OEM manufacturers and home users who place the highest priority on stability. In practice, the D845GBV proves to be quite user-friendly: BIOS updates are made automatically with the help of a diskette. The program needed for this is available on the manufacturer's support pages. In order to avoid problems with new hardware components, Intel always offers updated BIOS versions. In the performance tests, a dilemma was revealed: compared to the other candidates, the board only worked with DDR266 memory (133 MHz). It's still not possible to adjust the memory clock to 166 MHz. Intel likes to call this "validation," so that's why there's a "V" in the product name. It's rather a pity that Intel's product is under such restrictions. As for the price: in retail stores, it's priced at around $130, and OEM customers get it for cheaper of course.

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