One Tough Cookie: 10 Boards with Intel i875P Chipset: Part I

Overview Of The Test Candidates: Sense & Nonsense

What do the new Canterwood boards have to offer? The trend is certainly towards more color, with a single exception. But it's not just in the PCB that the individual manufacturers are showing their differences - RAM and component slots are also colored - the louder, the better. You'll find a fluorescent color here and there, which makes the board ideal for the next LAN party.

One candidate in particular stands out, ensuring attention with an LED running light. Iridescent packaging is also all the rage - after all, customers have to be visually attracted in this business. The motifs on many of these boxes, on the other hand, are not for everyone.

Another good thing is the fact that many manufacturers are including more accessories than ever in the form of cables, slots and additional devices. This means that you don't have any additional expenses. We can confirm that the CNR, AMR and ACR slots, so criticized in the past, have disappeared from the boards. The argument frequently heard from manufacturers - this had been requested by an OEM customer - was no longer tenable.

Today, anyone entertaining the idea of getting a motherboard with the i875P chipset must ask themselves an important question: will the Northwood successor "Prescott" actually be supported by the board? It will, according to internal information from Intel papers, provided that an appropriate voltage regulator is used, in compliance with VRM specification 10.0. Add an adapted BIOS, and you should be good to go.

The i875P won't be replaced until the middle of 2004: the Grantsdale chipset will then offer dual DDR2, and the RAM speed will increase to up to 266 MHz (533 MHz in marketing math). An essential highlight will be the replacement of the AGP slot by PCI Express with 16 lanes (64 physical circuits).

New ICH5 Southbridge with integrated RAID controller for Serial-ATA hard drives.
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