Soyo P4S Dragon
Not long ago we reviewed
Soyos latest 845 SDRAM
mainboard for the Pentium 4, while we didnt recommend buying a product
with SDRAM support for the Pentium 4 we found their P4ISR
SDRAM product to be the best solution to get the most from the least. While
we were in Las Vegas for CES earlier this
month, Soyo provided us with their P4S DRAGON mainboard for testing, this
particular board is based on the SIS645 chipset and has quite a few interesting
- SIS 645 Chipset
- 3GB DDR Support
- DDR333 Support
- USB 2.0 Controller
- HighPoint Raid
- Onboard C-Media
6 Channel Sound
- Onboard Ethernet
- 6 USB ports in
than Intels 845 DDR
The Pentium 4 was introduced
along with Intels 850 chipset, not long ago it was the only solution
available for the Pentium 4; obligating people to use it without giving them
choice to go with an alternative solution.
Intel introduced their 845 chipset last year in order to accommodate their
Pentium 4 with a value segment chip which costs less to produce and eliminating
the need of using the expensive RDRAM memory.
SDRAM PC133 memory was unfortunately the only choice due their agreement with
Rambus stating that Intel was not allowed to produce a non RDRAM chipset supporting
a memory subsystem with a bandwidth higher than 1.06/GB/sec until 2002, limiting
the 845 only to the less powerful SDRAM PC133 memory. SDRAMs 1.06GB/s
bandwidth clearly wasnt enough to accommodate the Pentium 4s 3.2GB/sec
bandwidth, the SDRAM performance was suffering compared to the 850 chip which
takes full use of the 3.2GB/s bandwidth.
Intel knew that their competitors were working on DDR solutions that would
offer similar chipsets in terms of features but with higher potential from
its memory subsystem thanks to DDR memory.
Intel was from the
beginning designing the 845 to support DDR SDRAM, making the 845/SDRAM a temporary,
low-cost solution for the Pentium 4 and giving them more time to continue
working on their DDR support for the 845.
While the 845 DDR offers
a good performance and value ratio for the Pentium 4, Intels 845 DDR
is not the only solution for the Pentium 4. VIA and SIS are the two other
serious players in this market, offering in many cases superior and most importantly
more affordable chipsets that in result are able to put the Pentium 4 into
an even deeper mainstream market. You can catch a more in-depth look at the
currently available chipsets for the Pentium 4 in our Pentium 4 Northwood
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