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Canterwood Motherboards Refined 74

YingYang writes "With Intel's i875P (otherwise known as Canterwood) chipset launch a couple of weeks ago, we were shown what an 800MHz System Bus can do for performance of the Pentium 4. At the time however, there were few Taiwanese OEM motherboards out and test-beds used to showcase the new chipset and throttled-up P4, were based on Intel designed motherboards. Now however, the Canterwoods are beginning to flow out of Taiwan and vendors like Abit and Asus have put together boards with a ton of integrated features and performance, that reminds us of the days of the 'BX,' when Intel chipsets were the only way to fly. Check out this Abit/Asus Canterwood head to head comparison at HotHardware."
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Canterwood Motherboards Refined

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  • Unless you are doing some serious number crunching such as CAD or video editing is this FSB increase really worth the price? I don't even think playing 3d games at 200fps really makes a difference then 150fps either...

    Need to create a mySQL table []?

    • The FSB increase is not for the games right now, its for the games of the future. Look at Star Trek Elite Force 2 (which by the way is stunning on a Radeon 9800 PRO, look here [] at it) With that 800mhz FSB it may just give you a little more FPS.
    • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @03:18PM (#5875769) Homepage Journal
      I don't even think playing 3d games at 200fps really makes a difference then 150fps either...

      This ignorant statement gets repeated (With, of course, ever-increasing frame rates plugged into it) so often that I feel compelled to blow it away here before it gets voted up by some mod bastards.

      The "fps" rating is an average. As the number of polygons and lights in a scene changes over time, so does the time to render a frame. You might have 150fps average but get, say, 20 fps when you walk into a big open room and find eight or nine people blowing each other away with assorted lighting effects and so on occurring.

      Also, more bandwidth means you can sustain higher fill rates which in turn means you can run higher resolutions. While this is much less of an issue now between CPU and video card because of onboard T&L which we have enjoyed greatly since nvidia brought it to PC gaming with the GeForce 256, pushing textures still depends on bus bandwidth. Anything memory-intensive does as well, so doing video encoding (a much more common practice than you think; witness all the DVD copy software out there) is highly dependent on memory bandwidth. Since intel is not using an integrated memory controller, this makes a big difference. AMD doesn't need as much FSB speed in the Athlon 64 and Opteron as intel needs in P4, because they have an integrated memory controller.

      • I can play quake 3 and monitor my FPS. It never drops below 125 FPS. That is what I have it capped at because there is no need for it to be higher. So you are wrong.

        • That's nice. If I look at my framerate while playing, say, tactical ops, my "average" is 50fps but it sometimes drops as low as 20. I could get overall higher frame rates but I have the resolution cranked up pretty far.

          If you are not pushing your graphics card, then you are not qualified to speak on this subject.

  • by brejc8 ( 223089 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:31AM (#5874508) Homepage Journal
    Anyone know why they are sticking the IDE sockets on their side []?
  • by Superfarstucker ( 621775 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:31AM (#5874510)
    This is the chip that kills intel's god awful dependency on rambus, about time. VIA did release a chipset that supported ddr quite some time back IIRC, but the performance was god awful so it was 'overlooked'. It appears as if this one beats out rambus on performance which is a "good thing"(tm)
    • VIA's chips (Score:4, Interesting)

      by aliens ( 90441 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:11PM (#5874688) Homepage Journal
      Actually the performance wasn't so bad. The problem was that there were legal issues concerning the VIA's right to make such chipsets. This led to few large OEM mobo makers to use the chips, making it hardly worth investing in.

      Now that the issues are settled though, you can expect to see more competition from VIA's new P4 chipset that will support 800Mhz FSB CPU's.

  • by BenDalton ( 573850 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:47AM (#5874573) Homepage
    Not only does Intel dominate the processor market, also Intel's chipsets run many of the best motherboards. I'm starting to wonder if Intel will ever see any real competition. We all know AMD, although more bang for your buck in many instances, will never be the dominate chip maker at this rate. Anyone see any upcoming companies that will challenge intel's deathgrip on the #1 position in this industry?
    • by asreal ( 177335 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:07PM (#5874665)
      Do you really want them to go away? I am perfectly content with Intel having a deathgrip on #1 and setting standards, with smaller companies like AMD providing price/performance competition to keep them honest.
      • competition (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:39PM (#5874831) Homepage Journal
        That only works if people actually buy the competitive products that are supposed to keep Intel honest.

        One guy who got deservedly lambasted on Usenet years ago said, "I like having AMD and Cyrix around, since they keep Intel's prices down for me." AMD and Cyrix aren't in the business so others can buy Intel's chips more cheaply. For all of our innovation, we're in a really STUPID industry, because for practically its entire history, computing has simply moved from one monopoly to another. From IBM to Microsoft, and now it's apparent that Microsoft is on the wane, because Intel is emerging as the One Dominator. Only for intervals where one monopoly is falling and another rising do we have real competition. I know it's been Wintel for over a decade, but really Microsoft has been in the driver's seat. That's changing, right now.
      • by el_avatar ( 661101 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @01:24PM (#5875065)
        I agree 100 percent that competition is what keeps Intel "honest," and I don't really think it's bad at all either that intel always takes the number one spot on most benchmarks, even if they win by a little bit, because it makes AMD strive hard to make competive yet cost-effective products, and then on the VIA side, with the new EDEN processors and such, seems they are venturing into a domain that is much demanded by the geek-world: silent hardware. I say, Intel is cool cause they lead, and if you can't afford their processors or mobos, then just kick-it AMD style! As long as I am a poor post-grad payin off loans, i'll be going AMD, while secretly dreaming of one of those perty P4's!

        -the av
  • I loved my Asus A7N8X motherboards so much I bought 4 of em. Nothing intel can do can pry me away from this! If they want my business, they gotta drop the prices.
  • by DeadBugs ( 546475 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @11:58AM (#5874627) Homepage
    The Springdale 865 chipset has started to show up in motherboards. The price in nearly $100 less. And the 2 chipsets are nearly identical as quoted from this article []

    "In many respects, the 875P is identical to Intel's forthcoming Springdale chipset, which will launch next month for the mainstream PC market. Both have an 800MHz FSB and offer support for dual-channel DDR400 memory, Serial ATA, AGP 8X, Gigabit Ethernet, and Intel's own Hyper-Threading technology. In fact, both chipsets are manufactured using the same .13-micron process. But only those components that pass Intel's stringent requirements, including optimum timing (Intel calls this Performance Acceleration Technology, or PAT), are qualified as 875P. Intel has different requirements for those components that will qualify as Springdale."
    • From a Feb 19th intel press release:

      "In addition to delivering high performance microprocessors, Intel will introduce two chipsets, codenamed Springdale and Canterwood, during the first half of the year. These new chipsets are designed to deliver a balanced platform with innovative features valued by home and office PC users. The Canterwood chipset will support Hyper-Threading Technology and have new features such as dual channel DDR400 memory support, a fast 800 MHz system bus, AGP8X and integrated Serial
  • watch out AMD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:00PM (#5874639)
    This could very well put the desktop performance lead firmly into Intel's hands.

    The 3.0 GHz P4 with 200 MHz FSB and dual channel DDR400 should handily beat the Athlon XP 3200+, and it will likely be priced less initially since Intel expects to introduce a 3.2 GHz part at the same time. That part will have a large performance margin over anything AMD has or will introduce this year.

    I don't think they will get this technology into the Xeons soon enough to fight off Opteron, though, or even to take the performance lead for x86 servers.
  • BX chipset (Score:2, Informative)

    by _N0EL ( 245472 )
    ... the "BX", a chipset for the Pentium 3 ...

    Intel's BX chipset was for the PII but works on the PIII as well. I wonder if more PII or PIII processors were mated with this chipset over the years? I've got four BX chipset boards now (one Intel, one Tyan and two Asus) running processors from PIII 850 Coppermine to 1.3 Gig Tualatin Celerons.

  • by (H)elix1 ( 231155 ) <> on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:08PM (#5874667) Homepage Journal
    Ok, I've got a couple BX board still running .... That chipset was fast and performed far beyond what Intel was hoping for. My Abit BE6-II reached amazing FSB overclocking while remaining stable, and my SuperMicro SBU continues to push content in production, having the CPU updated from a PII 300 to a PIII 800. The Abit was over designed, allowing me to go from a PII 266, PII 400, PIII 500, to finally a Celeron 566@952. The chip had legs.

    Contrast this to the Intel boards, however. They were soo bloody afraid of someone running the CPU faster than the spec, that they tended to not handle the additional voltages or clock multipliers. Intel designed motherboard is not an asset in my book.

    As for the chipset itself, it will be some time before it proves it's salt. I got burned badly with the i840 chipset debacle and stranded with the GX chipset. The i840 was what drove me to AMD on the workstation side.
    • The one thing I can say about intel motherboards from my experience they are among the most stable. I've had many other asus, msi via based motherboards that all seemed to wig out on me at one point or another. It could just be bad luck, but I've never had any significant reset-the-bios-with-a-jumper type problems with an intel board.
    • Hello,

      It's important to keep in mind that just like automobile manufacturers, motherboard manufacturers make products targeted at different markets.

      Just as automobile enthusiasts [] replace stock carburetors and transmissions with performance parts, overbore engines, modify ECUs and so forth, computer enthusiasts [] tweak their BIOSes, replace stock heatsinks with watercooling, use rounded cables, et cetera.

      But for the overwhelming majority of automobile or computer users out there, they get by just

  • by sweede ( 563231 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @12:47PM (#5874880)
    But, the new chipset provides wider pathways for everything on the system bus. your IDE channels have wider paths for data transfer. your PCI bus is wider. most current technology has a limit of only transfering around ~120 mb/sec across the whole PCI bus (which included the IDE channels).

    AGP was brought around to provide faster access to the CPU/northbridge than PCI.

    AMDs HyperTransport technology (which my motherboard has) widens the Bus paths between the south bridge and north bridge to 4 bits (from a 1 bit path and hypertransport can scale to 64 bit wide paths!). now all of my PCI, IDE, SATA, Onboard Audio paths are 4 bit wide capable of going at almost 800 mb/sec

    This is what is going to put Intel back as the performance market leader... until that hypertransport starts getting into the 8 and 16 bit wide bus pathways....
    • by jsoderba ( 105512 ) on Sunday May 04, 2003 @01:49PM (#5875172)
      Actually, the MCH-ICH interconnect appears to be a weakness for the Canterwood. At only 266 MB/s and with more and more high-bandwidth peripherals (SATA, USB 2.0, FireWire, SCSI) this link could become saturated in some IO-intensive applications. Competing chipsets all have wider datapaths [].
      • Nice page... nifty info...

        I would just remove that whole SiS R658 line from the printout. When It first came out I ran around trying to find when I'd beable to expect motherboard with them... 11 months later and still no motherboard manufacturer produces a retail board with them??? VaporHype.

    • your IDE channels have wider paths for data transfer.


      your PCI bus is wider.

      Nope; it's still 32 bit, 33 MHz.

      most current technology has a limit of only transfering around ~120 mb/sec across the whole PCI bus (which included the IDE channels).

      While 32/33 PCI is limited to ~120MB/s, IDE hasn't been on the PCI bus for several years.

      AMDs HyperTransport technology (which my motherboard has) widens the Bus paths between the south bridge and north bridge to 4 bits (from a 1 bit path...

      IIRC, most
      • The nForce2 has 800MB/s on the north-south link and Canterwood only has 266MB/s.

        heh, i got how all that connects together confused.

        if i remember correctly, the IDE, PCI, SATA, USB and other bus paths connect to the south bridge. if the south/north bridge link isnt very fast, that puts a hurt on the whole system.

        Some Northbridges have USB and Network interfaces connected directly to it, along with the RAM interface and AGP interfaces.

        As for the 1,2,4,8, etc bit comment, although the link may be 16 bits w
  • I wonder if Abit's latest motherboards actually support ECC or just claim to []. And speaking of ECC, has anyone seen ECC CL2 PC3200 DIMMs?
  • Zoom... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Duncan3 ( 10537 )
    Wow, that's almost 2% faster for twice the price! What a deal.

    And only 10x more power then 2% of the users can figure out what to do with.

    On the other hand, it's almost enough to actually run XML based Java applications.
  • I tried reading this artcile, but couldn't get through it, because, the writing is, so, tedious.

    It's great, that technology allows us all to communicate, with one another, but, it's a trajedy, the more trafficked websites, don't seem to care enough, to perform even basic grammatical editing, before publishing a story.


  • With the AMD Opteron releasing soon for the Desktop market and within a few years we'll have PCI Express Serial ATA that will hopefully be approaching the gigabit level and newer optical storage mediums the normal bus will not be standard anymore. PCI Express and AMD"s Hypertransport will definately eliminate the need for it.

    But finally PC's will largely be as fast as the processor and can keep up with it or maybe even give it a run for it's money.

    Hopefully now programmers when converting to 64bit code w
    • Well if someone hasn't gotten a new PC in a few years and is shopping for one this year these mb's make some wicked machines. I doubt we'll see anything mainstream to replace usual hard drives any time soon. I doubt we'll see serial ATA even get close to being fully realized for quite a while also. I intend to build a new machine at the end of the summer and am seriously looking at using mb's with this chipset.

      I currently have a PC with a via chipset and i've had nothing but problems with it. I'm only
      • I swear by these boards.. I've got the Leadtek KNCR18D-PRO with 1 gig of ram and the ATI 9700 Pro 128mb card.. the gig of ram is in 2 PC2700 333mhz in dual DDR mode which is the equivalent 666Mhz (evil) of processing godness.

        The only other enhancement I did now is putting in a 120 Gig WD Caviar Special Edition with the 8mb buffer which is supposed to outclass 10k SCSI drives.

        I can afford Intel but I'll support diversity in the industry and stick with AMD processors. It's cheaper in the long run becuase t

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.