Billy Newsom · 01-01-1997 · Category:
Pentium Pro/II Chipsets
The 440LX chipset has been the mainstay of the Pentium II systems
since about September 1997 when it was released. The 440BX
should gradually replace it, since it has a 100 MHz memory bus. Its features
- Dual processor support
- PCI 2.1 support for 4 PCI slots
- 512 MB of SDRAM or 1 GB of EDO max (512 MB max using unbuffered RAM)
- ECC, parity, EDO, and SDRAM support on a 66 MHz memory bus
- Up to four DIMM's, rarely seen in a 3 DIMM, 2 SIMM configuration
- AGP 1.0
- Unofficial compatibility with the Pentium Pro using an adapter
The new Intel 440BX chipset (April 1998) has a few improvements over the 440LX.
Keep in mind that mixing EDO and SDRAM is not possible on this chipset.
- Support for 100 MHz memory bus while maintaining the PCI bus at 33 MHz
- Support for 1 GB of EDO and SDRAM
- Support for mobile Pentium II
- Support for SODIMM's
- Power saving modes in addition to ACPI
The new 440EX chipset (April 1998) has a few downgraded specs compared to the 440LX.
Unfortunately, the 440EX "basic" chipset might get confused with the 440BX, a "better" chipset.
- Support for only 256 MB of EDO or SDRAM
- No support for ECC or parity RAM
- Support for only two DIMM's or four SIMM's
- Support for only one processor
The 440FX is the Natoma PCIset which runs Intel Pentium Pro
(Socket 8 or Slot 1) and Intel Pentium II (Slot 1) processors.
This chipset supports single and dual processors, ECC, parity, EDO,
and FPM RAM up to 1 GB. The motherboards can have up to eight
banks of RAM shared among both CPU's.
Drawbacks: no SDRAM, ATA-33, ACPI, or AGP support.
The OPTi Discovery is another Pentium Pro chipset, but I have
never seen or heard of a motherboard that uses it. The OPTi
website indicates "optional" AGP and UMA support, plus
ECC, SDRAM, and parity support. Only 512 MB is allowed, although
dual-processor support is available. ATA-33 and USB are standard.
Up to six banks of RAM are allowed.
The SiS 5602 is a Pentium II chipset (perhaps also it runs
Pentium Pro's, the SiS website is a bit vague) that supports
Note that Intel has yet to release a PC97-compliant chipset
for Pentium Pro's or Pentium II's & don't even have a chipset that runs SDRAM for the Pentium
Pro/II. SiS is showing their lead here. Their .35-micron chipset
is easily better than the 440FX, and it may soon support AGP.
VIA has a Pentium Pro/II chipset called the Apollo P6 680.
It allows for up to 1 GB of RAM, including SDRAM, EDO, and
ECC/parity support. Up to six banks of RAM are allowed, and
quad-processor (dual support for Pentium II) support is available.
FIC often carries the VIA chipset products, and this chipset has been used in FIC's
Socket 8 motherboard line.
- 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