A few hours after partners like Dell and Gateway posted new PC offerings on their Web sites, Intel Corp. has formally announced the new Pentium 4 desktop chipsets that make them possible -- silicon that supports faster memory as well as the Hyper-Threading Technology that will debut in the 3.06GHz Pentium 4 processor shipping later this year, letting compatible applications run as if there are two CPUs available when only one physical CPU is present.
The enhanced Intel 850E chipset supports dual-channel PC1066 as well as previous versions' PC800 RDRAM memory, delivering the highest-performance Pentium 4 systems available today. In 1,000-unit quantities, it's priced at $40.
Two new versions of Intel's 845 chipset for desktops with DDR memory add support for faster DDR333 as well as DDR266 SDRAM. The 845PE ($34 apiece in volume quantities) offers AGP 4X support for a flexible, high-end discrete graphics solution, while the 845GE ($37) combines a 400MHz or 533MHz system bus with a faster 266MHz clock speed for Intel's Extreme Graphics integrated video platform. It also has AGP 4X support.
Finally, the 845GV ($28) sticks with DDR266 (as well as PC133 SDRAM) memory support for economical 400MHz- or 533MHz-bus Pentium 4 and Celeron systems with strictly integrated graphics (no AGP slots).
Eric Grevstad is managing editor of sister site, HardwareCentral, where this article was first published.