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Intel vs. AMD - The Road Ahead - Dual-Channel DDR

There has been much debate about which high-end processor is the best purchase in today's highly competitive market, both performance-wise and value-wise. There are two current main competitors in this market, AMD and Intel. Some prefer AMD processors because they offer excellent value for money, while others prefer Intel processors, due to their high performance and comparatively low heat output. Come join Asher "Acid" Moses as he takes a look at what we can expect from both of these Power-Houses in the future.

| Editorials in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Apr 21, 2002 4:00 am

Dual-Channel DDR

 

The first dual channel DDR chipset for the AMD Athlon platform was released by nVidia, named "nForce". Instead of having a single 64-bit controller, the nForce has two 64-bit controllers which allow for twice the memory bandwidth. To make use of this, however, you need to be using two 64-bit memory modules, which, to me, is quite logical. However, again, the extra memory bandwidth is not used by the AMD Athlon because it can only provide 2.1GB/sec bandwidth, rather than the 4.2GB/sec that the nForce can theoretically provide. This is why the nForce chipset did not provide any extra performance over VIA's KT266A chipset, unlike what was originally expected.

 

However, if nVidia decided to base their nForce chipset around the Pentium 4 platform, things would, again, be much different. The Pentium 4 can provide up to 3.2GB/sec of bandwidth, which is about 40% higher than the Athlon's 2.1GB/sec. The reason why nVidia decided to go with the Athlon platform rather than the Pentium 4 was most probably due to licensing issues with Intel.

 

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