Date: August 24th, 2004
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: Intel
<--SHOP FOR THE INTEL D925XCV LGA775 PENTIUM 4 ALDERWOOD MOTHERBOARD HERE
INTEL CORPORATE PROFILE
For more than three decades, Intel Corporation has developed technology enabling the computer and Internet revolution that has changed the world. Founded in 1968 to build semiconductor memory products, Intel introduced the world's first microprocessor in 1971. Today, Intel supplies the computing and communications industries with chips, boards, systems, and software building blocks that are the "ingredients" of computers, servers and networking and communications products. These products are used by industry members to create advanced computing and communications systems. Intel's mission is to be the preeminent building block supplier to the Internet economy.
Today I have the pleasure of taking a step into Intel's new LGA775 backyard and review their top of the line Alderwood motherboard based on the new Intel 925X Express chipset formally released in June. What the Alderwood brings to the table is the new LGA775 pin configuration Intel P4, the new faster DDR2 memory and lets not forget the PCI Express videocard specification everyone has been talking about. More on that farther down the page.
If you are considering a migration to the new 925X chipset, please remember that this will be a considerable investment. With the new motherboard you will have to purchase the new LGA775 based P4 along with DDR2 memory and a new PCI Express videocard. If you don't want to upgrade your memory and videocard, there are a couple of Canterwood 875P based motherboards coming onto the market which will allow you to keep everything but the new LGA775 processor.
When it comes down to your specific LGA775 motherboard choice, you can break it down into four different yet equally important factors.
1.) Performance - Will this motherboard take full advantage of the hardware I will be using?
2.) Stability - Does this motherboard manufacturer have a proven track record of constructing a stable and trouble-free platform?
3.) Features - Does this motherboard have all the features I need for my specific purposes?
4.) Overclocking - Is this motherboard targeted to allow me to overclock my processor and memory for extra performance?
Applying these four questions to Intel's mainboards, one, two and three definitely apply. As for the overclocking factor, if you are interested in pushing your hardware beyond their stock specifications, you should look elsewhere for another motherboard manufacturer. You see, Intel is know for making some of the fastest stock motherboards on the market packed with industry leading technology, but as for overclocking, they don't condone OR support it.
To save you some reading time, if you are into purchasing a great stock motherboard, stick around and enjoy the review. If on the other hand you are in the dire need to overclock, I would check out some other manufacturers options that I will be reviewing in the near future.
INTEL(R) 925X EXPRESS CHIPSET INFORMATION (From Intel)
Intel 925X Express chipset-based platforms are optimized to deliver exceptional system performance, providing advanced technology and new levels of efficiency to help meet the demands of advanced computer users.
Workstation platforms based on the Intel® 925X Express chipset and Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor with Hyper-Threading Technology deliver exceptional computing power in a single processor platform. The Intel 925X Express chipset was designed to support Intel's Hyper-Threading (HT) Technology, adding intelligence to help manage and prioritize multiple threads received from the processor. HT Technology-enabled platforms help maximize efficiency by improving system performance and responsiveness.
Additionally, for great workstation application flexibility, the Intel 925X Express chipset is specifically designed to support Intel® Extended Memory 64 Technology (Intel® EM64T)2 enabling 64-bit memory addressability. Select versions of the Pentium 4 processor support Intel® EM64T as an enhancement to Intel's IA-32 architecture on workstation platforms. This enhancement enables the processor to execute operating systems and applications written to take advantage of Intel® EM64T. Further details on the 64-bit extension architecture and programming model can be found in the Intel® Extended Memory 64 Technology Software Developer Guide at http://developer.intel.com/technology/64bitextensions/.
The features of the Intel 925X Express chipset deliver a compelling solution for both consumer and corporate market segments:
- 800MHz FSB enables support for today's highest-performing Intel Pentium 4 processors.
- Optimized for the Intel Pentium 4 Processor supporting HT Technology to enable improved system performance and responsiveness.
- Enhanced performance architecture, with 800-MHz system bus processors and DDR2 memory, optimizes data transfers between the processor and system memory.
- Intel® Extended Memory 64 Technology (Intel® EM64T) provides workstation application flexibility for future 64-bit code and access to large amounts of memory while running existing 32-bit applications.
- Flexible memory support, with dual-channel DDR2 533/DDR2 400 memory, providing up to 8.53 GB/s memory bandwidth, in configurations up to a maximum of 4 GB of Random Access Memory (RAM).
- PCI Express delivers up to 4 GB/s per direction for graphics bandwidth and up to 500 MB/s concurrent data transfers for I/O to support the most demanding applications.
- Intel Matrix Storage Technology, with integrated Raid 0 and Raid 1 capabilities using the latest SATA interface, for accelerated disk I/O performance.
- Intel HD Audio technology's eight independent DMA audio engines can enable multiple separate, simultaneous audio streams.
800 MHz System Bus
-Front Side Bus (FSB) support for high-performance Intel® processors. Delivers great system performance.
Support Enables increased system responsiveness and performance for multi-tasking.
LGA775 socket supports high performance Intel desktop processors
PCI Express* bus architecture
PCI Express x16 graphics delivers up to 4 GB/s per direction for up to 3.5 times more bandwidth than AGP8X2. PCI Express x1 I/O offers 500 MB/s concurrently, up to 3.5 times more bandwidth than PCI at 133 MB/s3.
Flexible memory support for dual-channel DDR2 533/DDR2 400 memory, providing up to 8.5 GB/s of memory bandwidth, in RAM configurations up to a maximum of 4 GB.
Direct Media Interface (DMI)
For I/O intensive applications, new serial bus delivers up to 2.0 GB/s of concurrent bandwidth between the memory and I/O controllers, compared to 266 MB/s with previous-generation architecture.
Intel® High Definition Audio
Support for new entertainment formats such as 7.1 surround sound, Dolby* Digital, and DTS*. Audio codec support for 192 kHz quality, multiple streams, and better voice input for speech recognition and voice-over-IP.
4 Serial ATA Ports (SATA/150)
Integrated Serial ATA controller facilitates high-speed data transfers at up to 150 MB/s for each of 4 ports. Allows easier hard drive upgrades and expansion for new SATA optical drives with 4 SATA/150 ports.
Intel® Matrix Storage Technology with ICH6R or RW only
Boosts storage performance with RAID 0 while helping to protect your digital memories with RAID 1 on the same disks. Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) can further boost performance and provides native hot plug for drive hot swaps.
Utilizes the existing industry hard drive and optical drive interfaces.
Integrated Hi-Speed USB 2.0 Ports
Eight ports offer up to 40X greater bandwidth over USB 1.1 for high-speed I/O peripherals, such as digital video cameras.
Intel® Wireless Connect Technology4 with ICH6W or RW only
Simplifies wireless network set-up with an integrated wireless access point (AP), and connects to Intel® Centrino™ mobile technology, and to equipped stereos and TVs using a digital media adapter (DMA). Requires a separate Intel® PRO/Wireless 2225BG Network Connection to operate. Availability may be limited.