Intel readies Grantsdale, new Pentium 4s

Two new chipsets for consumer PCs will be the centerpiece of one of Intel's most significant product launches of the year.

The company is planning to introduce six new desktop processors alongside the 915 and 925 chipsets, formerly known as Grantsdale and Alderwood, at launch events around the globe.

A chipset is the glue that holds a system together. It connects a processor with a system's memory and I/O slots allowing data to flow between components.

Intel tended to refresh its desktop chipset technology about once a year to add new features or technologies, an Intel spokesperson, Dan Snyder, said.

The 915 and 925 chipsets introduce a host of new technologies to consumer desktop PCs, including the PCI Express interconnect technology and support for DDR2 (double data rate 2) memory.

Intel also improved the integrated graphics chip that ships with certain versions of the new chipsets, as well as the audio technology within the platform.

Three chipset models will be available from PC vendors. The 915G includes the integrated graphics chip, while the 915P is designed for use with graphics cards from companies like Nvidia and ATI Technologies. The 925X is considered a high-performance chipset for advanced users.

PCI Express allows data to travel at faster rates throughout the chipset than permitted by the current PCI standard. It will help improve overall system performance and pave the way for future expansion cards such as high-definition television (HDTV) tuners or advanced graphics technology, according to Intel.

The PCI Express technology changed the basic architecture of the bus from a parallel design to a serial one, an analyst with Illuminata, Gordon Haff, said.

This allowed signals to move at faster rates throughout the chipset, he said.

DDR2 memory is an update to current mainstream memory technology. It allows memory chips to run faster than the current 400MHz standard by improving signal quality and increasing the number of signals that can be processed by a memory chip. PCs with the new chipsets will be available at launch with DDR2 chips at 400MHz and 533MHz, but analysts don't expect the technology to become a mainstream product until later this year or early next year.

The new chipsets were expected to allow users to include integrated wireless access point technology, but that capability would trickle out of Intel this year, and would not be available at launch, Snyder said.

The wireless technology was connected to the chipset through a PCI card, which is not ready for commercial launch, he said.

Systems with wireless access point technology would be available in limited quantities starting later this year, Snyder said.

The delay is another setback for Intel's wireless division. The company was forced to use wireless silicon from a third-party vendor at its Centrino mobile technology launch in March of 2003 after its own products were not ready in time. Intel eventually launched its own Intel-branded wireless chips later in 2003.

It envisions the 915 and 925 chipsets as the building blocks for a new generation of entertainment and consumer multimedia PCs. The new products bring advanced DirectX 9.0 graphics to mainstream PCs with Intel's new integrated graphics chip, allowing more users to experience what is usually only available through more expensive discrete graphics cards.

PC audio technology was also overhauled for the first time in several years with Intel High Definition Audio, which improved audio quality and supported a wider range of microphone technology, Snyder said.

Along with the new chipsets, Intel launched a new Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor at 3.4GHz and five new Prescott Pentium 4 processors that use a new packaging technology called LGA775 (land grid array packaging with 775 pins). The new packaging technology allows Intel to get more power into the new chips and improves the quality of the electrical signals traveling to the chip.

The new Prescott Pentium 4 processors use Intel's new processor numbering system. The fastest chip is the Pentium 4 560 processor at 3.6GHz, followed by the 550 processor at 3.4GHz, the 540 processor at 3.2GHz, the 530 processor at 3GHz, and the 520 processor at 2.8GHz.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Krazit

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?