Anand heeft een leuk artikel het leven in geroepen over de performance van Intel's i820 chipset in combinatie met SDRAM geheugen. Zoals inmiddels bekend heeft het gebruik van de Memory Translator Hub, waardoor ipv RDRAM SDRAM gebruikt kan worden, dramatische gevolgen voor de performance. Anand kwam dan ook tot de conclusie dat de i820 / SDRAM combo totaal niet interessant is, voor 133MHz FSB kun je dan ook beter voor de VIA Apollo Pro 133A kiezen.
The idea of putting SDRAM on an i820 motherboard is definitely a good one and a very practical one, at least in theory. But in practice, through the use of Intel's Memory Translator Hub, it is far from the most efficient idea. Unfortunately there is really no way around this other than to go after a motherboard that uses either the BX, the Apollo Pro 133 or 133A chipset.
As a complement to an overclocked FC-PGA CPU, an i820 motherboard with SDRAM does become an interesting option but when you consider that a 500E running at 750MHz (150MHz FSB) on an i820 with SDRAM is slower than the same CPU running at a lower clock speed of 620MHz (124MHz FSB) on a BX board it really makes you want to reconsider throwing out your trusty BX motherboard.
We've said it before and we'll say it again, the BX platform is still the most attractive platform in terms of stability and performance for the newer Pentium IIIs based on the Coppermine core. Even with SDRAM the i820 loses its appeal because of the heavy performance penalties associated with using a MTH in order to gain SDRAM support.
If you must have official 133MHz FSB support, the VIA Apollo Pro 133A is a much better and much more affordable chipset option than the i820 + SDRAM. Unfortunately we are still waiting for the kinks to be worked out of most of the current Apollo Pro 133A based motherboards as well as for others to finally hit the streets.
If there only were a better 133MHz FSB chipset on the horizon...