Pentium 4 prices to fall even more with SDRAM chipset

Intel's current effort to get Pentium 4 processors into progressively less expensive PCs should be aided in August by the arrival of Intel's 845 chipset, code-named Brookdale.

Intel's new 845 chipset will use industry standard SDRAM (synchronous DRAM) memory instead of the pricier Rambus DRAM memory shipping with current Pentium 4-powered PCs, an Intel spokesperson said.

Intel's 845 chipset is expected to launch early next month, according to sources familiar with the chipmaker's plans.

The less expensive 845 chipset will help Intel immediately lower the cost of Pentium 4 chips for PC manufacturers such as Dell, Compaq, HP, and others. Rambus memory will continue to be an option for Pentium 4 systems, according to Intel.

However, industry experts question Intel's choice of SDRAM over the faster alternative of DDR-SDRAM (double data rate SDRAM).

SDRAM, also known as PC133 memory, is widely considered to be slow and outdated compared to newer DDR-SDRAM technology. Intel competitor Advanced Micro Devices already ships DDR memory with many of its PC and server chipsets.

Recognizing the advantage of DDR-SDRAM, Intel plans to launch a DDR-SDRAM chipset for the Pentium 4 in the first quarter of 2002, a spokesperson for the chipmaker said.

Until then, experts say customers buying Pentium 4 PCs with the SDRAM chipset will be buying a thoroughbred strapped to a plow horse.

Testing performed by Tom's Hardware Guide, an independent technology benchmarking Web site, revealed that "it is not very hard to imagine that this slightly outdated and somewhat slow memory type -- SDRAM -- will have a major performance impact on the Pentium 4. The question is only how much of an impediment PC133 memory will be for the Pentium 4. PC133 is very inexpensive, but the price advantage over the more advanced DDR-SDRAM is shrinking daily and does not play a major role in cost considerations anymore."

An Intel spokesperson said, "For higher bandwidth applications, certainly Rambus memory will be faster [than SDRAM]."

Intel's commitment to the use of expensive Rambus memory has drawn criticism over the last several years by PC manufacturers both large and small who believe engineering requirements for Intel's PC chips have prevented them from using alternative memory technologies.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Neel

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?