In the Pentium 4 chipset department, Intel have had things their own way for around about 12 months now ever since they released their first Dual Channel capable Granite Bay chipset around this time last year, and even before hand with their older 845x products. Even VIA Technology did not cause too much of a concern for the chip giant as they both battled it out in the court over licensing of the Pentium 4 bus.
For its time the Granite Bay offered stunning performance for the Pentium 4 which previously lacked on memory bandwidth to make full use of the processor, as with all previous Single Channel chipsets on the market. The simple answer to the lack of memory bandwidth muscle was to introduce a new technology called "Dual Channel" which theoretically doubled the amount of memory bandwidth achievable by transmitting twice as much data over its split 128-bit DDR memory bus at PC2100 speeds. Intel used this simple yet industry sparking technique with their very popular Granite Bay chipset which included DDR-266 Dual Channel memory providing an adequate amount of memory bandwidth for the system to work with. This simple move was all it took for the Pentium 4 to become a "must have" product among mainstream computer users all over the world - just like nVidia achieved with their Dual Channel nForce2 chipsets a little earlier for the AMD Athlon processor line.
Fast forward six or so months and we have current generation Pentium 4 chipsets from Intel, the popular Canterwood and Springdale, which offers all of the features found in the Granite Bay and more. The most important part is the support for Dual Channel DDR-400 memory over the same 128-bit DDR memory bus controller providing just the right amount of bandwidth to work in harmony with all new generation Pentium 4 "C" processors running on an 800MHz FSB.
Till around about two months ago, Intel hadn't been bothered as far as competition goes in the Socket 478 Pentium 4 chipset area. That was until ATI released their codenamed "RS300" Radeon 9100 IGP (Integrated Graphics Processor) chipset for the Pentium 4 offering many of the same features as Intel's mainstream Springdale chipset including Dual Channel DDR-400 support and onboard video to rival the best in the business. We've got ATI's very first, now fully licensed and ambitious desktop chipset on the test bed today in the form of the FIC P4M-RS300 motherboard. We already know that ATI is more than capable in the high-end graphics core market: Let's see how they go in the Pentium 4 chipset market!
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