Intel 820 Chipset

Test – Originally scheduled to be available concurrently with the Pentium III processor in the spring of 1999, Intel’s much delayed 820 chipset was finally launched in November that year. Those delays – which had left Intel in the position not having a chipset that supported the 133MHz system bus speed their latest range of processors were capable of – were largely due to delays in the production of Direct Rambus DRAM (DRDRAM), a key component in Intel’s 133MHz platform strategy. Direct RDRAM memory provides a memory bandwidth capable of delivering 1.6 GBps of maximum theoretical memory bandwidth – twice the peak memory bandwidth of 100MHz SDRAM systems. Additionally, the 820’s support for AGP 4x technology allows graphics controllers to access main memory at more than 1 GBps – twice that of previous AGP platforms. The net result is the significantly improved graphics and multimedia handling performance expected to be necessary to accommodate future advances in both software and hardware technology. The 820 chipset employs the Accelerated Hub Architecture that is offered in all Intel 800 series chipsets – the first chipset architecture to move away from the traditional Northbridge Southbridge design. It supports a bandwidth of 266 MBps and, with it’s optimized arbitration rules which allow more functions to run concurrently, delivers significantly improved audio and video handling. The chipset’s three primary components are: Memory Controller Hub I/O Controller Hub, and Firmware Hub. The Memory Controller Hub provides a high-performance interface for the CPU, memory and AGP and supports up to 1GB of memory via a single channel of RDRAM using 64-, 128- and 256-Mbit technology. With an...

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