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Intel Pentium 4 540 (3.2E) Socket LGA 775 Processor Review

Intel Pentium 4 540 (3.2E) Socket LGA 775 Processor Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The Pentium 4 3.2E LGA775 (Land Grid Array) Socket 775 processor is based on the same 0.09 micron manufacturing process as its Socket 478 Prescott cousin.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Intel May 11 2005   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > Intel Pentium 4 540

The 915G/P chipset

The 915P, along with its sister product the 915G, is the more mainstream of Intel's first Socket 775 chipsets, offering motherboard manufacturers considerable flexibility in implementing the features it supports. These chipsets support only socket-755 Pentium 4 processors at front-side bus speeds of 533 and 800MHz, incidently. Subsequent to this release, the 925XE brought in support for 1066MHz bus processors, but that is beyond the scope of this review at the moment.

The 915 chipset supports both DDR-2 and the DDR memory standard, both in dual-channel. This allows for a slightly easier upgrade path for current users, who would otherwise be faced with the daunting necessity of upgrading processor, motherboard and memory. Intel 915-based boards can use both types of memory, along the lines of SIS's dual SDRAM\DDR-SDRAM chipsets of a few years ago. This would seem to be an obvious user-friendly step to take, but it has only been implemented by a few manufacturers.

Though the Intel 915 chipset is supposed to be PCI Express or integrated graphics only, several motherboard manufacturers have already introduced 915-based boards with both an AGP and a PCI Express slot. This is achieved by linking the AGP slot to the PCI-bus, since the chipset lacks any provision for a dedicated AGP bus. As you would expect, this limits the bandwidth available to AGP cards on these boards considerably and can hobble their performance. For an example of this, see PCSTATS review of the Albatron PX915P-AGPE motherboard which includes one of these ersatz AGP slots.

The 915 chipset uses the ICH6 Southbridge (see below for more details) and as such supports Serial ATA-150 and PCI Express I/O slots, as well as the typical set of USB 2.0 and other inputs. Actual implementation of these depends on the individual manufacturers.

The main version of this chipset is the 915P, but in keeping with the mainstream sales target, a variant (915G) supports integrated Intel graphics. The integrated graphics engine is a new one, Intel's GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 900. While this is light-years better than the previous Intel 'extreme' integrated graphics chip, which was anything but extreme, it's still not a good performer with today's games.

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Contents of Article: Intel Pentium 4 540
 Pg 1.  Intel Pentium 4 540 (3.2E) Socket LGA 775 Processor Review
 Pg 2.  CPU Features
 Pg 3.  Model Numbers
 Pg 4.  Intel's chipsets for Socket 775: 915P/G and 925X
 Pg 5.  — The 915G/P chipset
 Pg 6.  The 925X chipset
 Pg 7.  Test setup and SysMark 2004
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Winstone 2002, Super Pi
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: Sandra 2004, POVray
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: ScienceMark, CINEBENCH 2000
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: PCMark04, 3DMark2001
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: 3DMark05, AquaMark3
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: Comanche 4, UT2003
 Pg 14.  Benchmarks: UT2004, Doom3
 Pg 15.  Overclocking and conclusion

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