The Intel 945P chipset is the more mainstream of Intel's two new desktop
chipsets. It comes in two variations: The 'G' version which incorporates Intel's
GMA 950 integrated graphics solution, and the 'P' version which does not.
The most obvious reason for
the 945P chipset's existence is to offer support for the Pentium
D to business and low-to-midrange consumers who are not interested in
the 'enthusiast' level 955X Express chipset and its higher cost. Like the
955X Express, The 945P chipset uses only DDR II memory and can handle up to
4GB in 533MHz, and 800MHz speeds. PCI Express x16 is the video
connector of choice; Intel currently supports only a single PCI Express x16 slot for one
graphics card but it is likely that the 945P will bring SLI into the
fold soon along with its brother chipset.
The 945P is partnered with the Intel ICH-7R Southbridge controller
just like the 955X Express chipset. The ICH-7R only uses a single
ATA-100 IDE controller but provides four SATA II ports, an integrated Gigabit
network adaptor and eight USB 2.0 ports. The 'R' means RAID, and the
ICH-7R also supports RAID modes 0, 1 and 5, though RAID mode 10 is not
supported as it is on the 955X Express chipset.
In addition to the 16 lanes reserved for the videocard, an
additional two PCI Express lanes can be used for two PCI Express x1
connectors, which is less than the six additional lanes that the 955X
Express chipset boasts, but enough for current needs.
The 945P and ICH-7R chips are connected by means of a
2GB/s Direct Media Interface link, just like the previous generation 925X/ICH-6R