Billy Newsom · 01-01-1997 · Category:
Intel Pentium Chipsets
First and foremost for me is the Intel 430HX, the beloved Triton
II. It is still the workhorse for dual-processor systems like the
one I have. It also runs single-CPU systems. It supports up to
four banks of SIMM's for a whopping 512 MB, up to 512 KB of
synchronous pipeline-burst cache, up to four PCI 2.1 devices
(plus the built-in EIDE controller), USB, and it can cache all
512 MB of RAM. It supports EDO, ECC, and parity
RAM. The EIDE controller is called the PIIX3.
Intel has no plans to supersede the Triton II.
Drawbacks: no SDRAM support, no ATA-33 Mode 5, no ACPI,
relatively small 512 KB cache size which must be shared among
The next chipset is a relative newcomer. The 430TX may be
referred to as the Triton IV, although I do not call it that. In
early 1997 & effectively replaced the 430VX Triton III and the 430MX, a
laptop chipset. It is not pin-compatible with either chipset, so
most of these boards started arriving in March. By replaced, I
mean that there is no good reason to keep using the old chipsets
now that the 430TX is here. Some of its features include:
compliance, ATA-33/PIO Mode 5, USB, up to three banks of RAM, up
to five PCI 2.1 devices besides the EIDE controller, up to 512 KB
of cache, and up to 256 MB of RAM. The 430TX can use FPM, EDO,
and SDRAM. ACPI is supported along with APM for
Drawbacks: no ECC or parity support, no SMP, only 64 MB of system RAM
can be cached, 512 KB max cache size
Under most conditions, the 430TX and the 430HX run relatively
the same speed. Obviously the 430TX can use the faster SDRAM,
while the 430HX is optimized for the large amounts of EDO and ECC
needed for high-end servers.
The 430VX Triton III was crippled by the introduction of the
430TX. Its only advantage over the 430TX is its low price. It
supports PCI 2.1, USB, SDRAM, EDO, and 512 KB of asynchronous or
synchronous cache, including pipeline-burst. The Triton III has
only one major improvement over the Triton II, which is SDRAM
support. In that regard, the Triton III has been on most low-end
systems geared toward the consumer market, while the Triton II
with its speed and features is for the high-end business systems.
The 430VX is hopefully on its way out.
Drawbacks: only 128 MB of system RAM, no ECC support, no SMP,
only 64 MB of system RAM can be cached, plus Intel may not make them
anymore, a rumor I heard.
- What Is a Chipset?
- A Brief History of Pentium Chipsets
- Triton: It All Started Here
- Intel Pentium Chipsets
- Non-Intel Pentium Chipsets
- Pentium Pro/II Chipsets
- The $69.00 Motherboard
- High-End Chipsets