The Intel Pentium 4 platform is evolving much faster than any previous platform. Never before have we seen an Intel product under go so many changes. The Intel Pentium 3 went through a few changes but not to the extent we have seen with the Intel Pentium 4.
Intel Pentium 4 has changed sockets, die sizes and chipsets all in one year. We have seen the 423 socket replaced with the 478. Intel I850, I850E, I845, I845D, I845E, I845G, I845PE and I845GE all come for the Intel Pentium 4, and that is just the Intel side, SiS have released the 645, 645DX, 650, 652 and now the 648 and R658 chipsets. VIA has put out the P4X266, P4X266A, P4X266E and now P4X400.This is a huge amount for just one single CPU.
Intel just recently released a new chipset for Intel Pentium 4. Originally designed for light server operations and workstation usages, this chipset has been adopted already as being the next big overclockers and enthusiast level chipset. The Intel E7205 or Granite Bay chipset is designed for entry level workstations with high memory consumption tasks in mind. Designed to replicate the RDRAM's 4.2GB/s bandwidth without the extremely high latency that RDRAM causes, Intel has used dual channel DDR for the E7205 using DDR-266 memory modules which allows 4.2GB/s with DDR SDRAM. E7205 only supports DDR-266 at this point, but with future validations, DDR-333 will most likely come into the next generation chipset.
Another feature addressed with the E7205 is AGP8x support. Intel was criticized for leaving this out of the I845PE and GE chipsets. Seems that Intel is now heading the way the market says and not their own way, after all, the market proved they will not do what Intel wants (remember the I820 and RDRAM? Who brought that stuff anyway?).
Now that we have had a bit of information on the E7205, let's have a look at the first board we have here in the TweakTown labs using this new chipset - the Gigabyte GA-8INXP.