2. Can you tell me about the 440BX Chipset?
Reader: I've heard about an upcoming motherboard chipset - 440BX indicating that they would be available toward the end of April this year. I have not been able to track any source that could tell me that this chipset is yet available. Can you tell me anything about the current status of the 440BX chipset?
Computer Doctor: Indeed it was introduced on April 15th, along with a new motherboard called the SE440BX which would be THE motherboard to get in any new Pentium II system. That is the one used by Dell, Gateway, Micron, and most others in their PII systems sold today. Visit Intel' site for more info on both the chipset and the motherboard.
3. Can you explain how chipsets are named?
Reader: Can you explain all the different alpha/numeric characters after a particular chipset? Example: 430LX, 430TX, 440LX, 440TX, 440BX.
Computer Doctor: The number indicates the chipset series, and the letter indicates the model. The 420 series are for 486s, 430 series is for Pentiums (P5), and the 440 series is for the P6 (Pentium Pro/II). The letters indicate the exact model of chipset. The different models have different specifications, features, capabilities and performance. You can find a great deal of info on Intel's Web site.
4. Do BX chipsets only apply to Pentium II processors running at 350 MHz and up?
Reader: I've noticed that the BX appears to apply to Pentiums II 350 Mhz and above. Is this correct?
Computer Doctor: The newest and highest performance chipset is the 440BX. It is the first and currently only chipset to support a processor bus (and therefore motherboard) speed of 100MHz. This is required to support the new 350, 400 and 450 MHz Pentium II processors. It can also run at the slower 66MHz bus speed, and at that speed will support any Pentium II from the 233 to the 333 MHz.
Reader: I am wondering about the differences between different Intel chipsets for Celeron and Pentium II/III computers. Can you explain the features of some of the most popular ones?
Computer Doctor: Intel's 440LX was the first chipset on the market that supported the AGP video card standard. It supports AGP 1.0 up to 2x speeds, and will also work with AGP 2.0 video cards, but not at 4x speeds.
The Intel GX and BX chipsets support the Pentium III computer; the GX is designed for slot 2 Xeon Pentium II/III CPU's, while the BX is designed for standard Slot 1 CPUs. The GX supports up to 2GB of RAM, versus 1GB for the BX chipset. The GX is designed as a chipset for dual-CPU servers, while the BX is a better choice for a dual-CPU workstation.
The latest chipsets from Intel are numbered in the 8xx series, such as the 810, 815, 840, and the new 850 for the Pentium 4. You'll find complete information about both current and older Intel chipsets at Intel's web site: developer.intel.com/design/chipsets.
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