Articles :: Introduction to Chipsets ::

Billy Newsom · 01-01-1997 · Category: Tech-planations

A Brief History of Pentium Chipsets

Forerunners &

These chipset have long been forgotten by the retailers and especially Intel. There are few references to Neptune and Mercury at the Intel website. My research shows that Mercury ran the 60 and 66 MHz 5 V Pentia & on a key chain that Intel sent me for free. Apparently, this one did not pass the 60 MHz test.

I believe that the Neptune chipset could run a dual Pentium motherboard. Before the Triton II 430HX, this was your SMP data pump. Most Neptune boards topped out at around 100 or 133 MHz, since the Triton I chipset became available about the time P100's were in vogue. As for their capabilities, well, they were extremely impressive in their day: the 430LX supported and cached 192 MB, while the 430NX could do 512 MB, way more than the Triton I 430FX which came later. Also, the 430LX/430NX chipsets supported parity, which Triton I did not. And both had optional EISA support, which Triton I seemed to have left out (an Intel trick, no doubt).


  1. Introduction
  2. What Is a Chipset?
  3. A Brief History of Pentium Chipsets
  4. Triton: It All Started Here
  5. Intel Pentium Chipsets
  6. Non-Intel Pentium Chipsets
  7. Pentium Pro/II Chipsets
  8. The $69.00 Motherboard
  9. High-End Chipsets