Review: Pentium 4 with i845

Until now, Pentium 4 had a hard time competing with AMDs Athlon on price/performance. Prime reason was the huge premium for Rambus memory. Intels new Chipset i845 (codenamed Brookdale) was made to change this.

We received a sample of a production ready motherboard with Intels 845 and a CPU fitting into its new Socket 478 from different sources within the industry. The processor turned out to be equipped with the Willamette core. This article therefore can only be viewed as preview of the two products, although they worked flawlessly for several hours in our lab.

According to unconfirmed information Intel plans to offer both Willamette and the new Northwood core for some time. The schedule therefore, however, is unclear.

Other sources quote Juli, 28, as the date when the ban on i845 finally will be lifted. Intel then wants to ship the chipset in mass quantities to its customers, the official launch of commercially available products may happen shortly thereafter.

This is not unlikely, as plenty of motherboards with the i845 were already demoed at Computex in June. The highly anticipated "Brookdale-2" or "Brookdale-DDR" for DDR-SDRAM may not appear so soon. Intels roadmaps still schedule it for Q1, 2002 - at least, until now. As first mainboards with Brookdale-DDR from third party vendors were shown at Computex, this may change.

High hopes: Intels Pentium 4 for Socket 478 is destined to be the final breakthrough for the platform.
High hopes: Intels Pentium 4 for Socket 478 is destined to be the final breakthrough for the platform.

To protect our sources in the industry we had to black ink some parts of the pictures. No other modifications were done to the images, please bear with us.

Shrinked: Northwood and Willamette will fit into the much smaller Socket 478 rather than Socket 423 in the very near future.
Shrinked: Northwood and Willamette will fit into the much smaller Socket 478 rather than Socket 423 in the very near future.