- The current situation

- The future of the memory: PC133, RDRAM, DDR...?

- i810: a too economic (?) chipset

- i820: a chipset (and a mike) late

- You tackle for AMD K7 Athlon

- The ROUTE chipset for Pentium III

- Conclusions

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Juan Herrerías Rey

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Hardware for the summer - autumn 1999

Part 3: Basic badges


In the latter delivery on the recent innovations of the computer market, we are going to treat the "nervous system" of the computer: the motherboard. Everything what has to do with this component is of the biggest importance for the yield and the capacity of update of our computer, although often only we worry about the number of MHz of our future computer... a common error of difficult solution as soon as the computer was bought.

The current situation

During the last months, the market of basic badges has been frankly boring: chipset BX, memory PC100, and little more that to count. The most habitual configuration of a recent computer was including many of the following characteristics:


Basic badges for mikes Intel

Basic badges for mikes AMD


Intel BX

Route MVP3 - Ali Aladdin V

Type of memory


Memory grooves

3 (type DIMM)

Grooves of expansion (AGP/PCI/ISA)

1/4/3 ó 1/5/2  




Clear it is that with some small variants, as for example:

  • Chipset: in badges for mikes Intel it is quite common to find us with the chipset ZX (of very high quality, although he supports less memory than the BX, "only 256 MB - in some cases up to 512 MB-) and even some cradle in the "prehistoric" LX (exclusively for Celeron very little advisable by his antiquity).
    In the badges for mikes AMD, economically only we find badges with the Route MVP3 or ALI'S Aladdin V (the last one, a quite decent chipset although he has suffered some problems of compatibility, fortunately almost completely overcome) or, in exceptional cases, someone with chipset SiS.
  • Type of memory: the mikes Celeron (and some of the slowest K6-2 or badly formed) sometimes sell with 66 MHz SDRAM, although this is seen less and less because it is in replacement process for the PC100 100 MHz (SDRAM), with which they are perfectly compatible, simply they do not make use of it to the maximum.
  • Memory grooves: in the badges ZX the habitual thing 2 grooves are, what can limit the possibilities of expansion if we install small modules; other badges ZX yes incorporate 3 grooves, what gives many other possibilities (64+64+64, 128+64+64, etc), although most of the people will never install any more than 128 MB.
    In any case, remember to ask them to install to him the minimal number of modules of possible memory, nothing of 2 modules of 64 MB to obtain 128 MB. And of course, badges BX exist or for AMD with 4 grooves, for which they want even: 1 GB! of memory.
  • Expansion grooves: the classic format 1/4/3 has been supported for many years, although it begins passing to the most modern 1/5/2, with two grooves ISA that only they are supported for compatibility, since up to the modem interns come in format PCI.
    Even some badges have decided to give the definitive step and not include any card ISA, slightly a little radically nor a madness.
  • Format: if it is in love absolutely of the ancient casing of his computer (rarer things have been seen), run to buy a badge in format Baby-AT; they still stay a few, especially for mikes AMD... but quickly, the ATX is not that it has triumphed, the fact is that it has triumphed.


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