It seems like only yesterday that Intel brought us the newest member of its Pentium 4 processor family, the I875P. Intel I875P, better known to the hardware market as the Canterwood, not only brought the first official 800 MHz FSB but along with this, Intel brought its first DDR-400 memory controller supporting Dual Channel 128bit memory interface supporting a maximum 6.4GB/s bandwidth, the same bandwidth that the Pentium 4 800Mhz FSB is capable of generating. The I875P brought another feature to the party, the first Southbridge with native Serial ATA on the ICH5 and RAID support on the ICH5R.
Another feature for the 875P was the Intel Performance Acceleration Technology or PAT as it is known, which the Springdale series does not. This technology is designed to accelerate memory access by the CPU, bypassing certain memory wait states, but running this requires great frequency memory modules. The use of ECC modules is also supported to allow greater stability with PAT enabled.
While this may seem like a great step forward, these features incur a price premium. With the ICH5R Southbridge and the I875P Northbridge motherboard manufacturers pay $53US per 1000 units; this drives the costs of I875P board's right up.
Intel, not wanting to loose out to others like SiS with upcoming chipsets costing far less, and VIA's free access to the Intel Pentium 4 architecture to build chipsets, had to come up with a cheaper alternative. This led Intel to release the I865 series of chipsets, codenamed Springdale. Springdale has three variations, I865P, I865PE and I865G. Today we will look at the different variations and features common to all.