Before we begin
E7205 codename Granite Bay chipset courtesy (with permission) OC Workbench
Let me first make it clear to you all that we do not yet have a Granite Bay motherboard in our labs for testing. The information you find in this article is based purely on documentation curtsey of Gigabyte Technology. We wanted to provide you, our readers, with a little bit of coverage on Intel's latest release today by means of our initial thoughts and opinions.
Now we've got that sorted, let's continue on…
- Hyper-Threading, an obvious inclusion
As well as being the first retail chipset available on the market to support Dual Channel DDR-266 memory, the Granite Bay chipset supports Hyper-Threading (HT) technology which is found in all Pentium 4 3.06GHz processors and above - and possibly even slower Northwood based processors as hinted by several tech sites over the past few days, such as VR-Zone Hardware.
In the most basic of terms, HT makes a dual processor compatible Operating System actually think the system has two physical processors when in fact the technology breaks the single processor into two logical processors. Our results showed roughly a 20% increase in performance compared to when HT was disabled. For more information on HT, you can read a detailed description over at X-Bit Labs.
- Intel 82801 ICH4
Intel 82801 ICH4 chipset courtesy (with permission) OC Workbench
Coupled with its new ICH4 (pictured above), the Granite Bay includes support for FSB 533/400MHz, AGP 8x, ATA133 and USB 2.0.