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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Motherboard and System Devices | System Chipset and Controllers | Popular Chipsets | Sixth Generation (Pentium Pro / Pentium II Class) Chipsets ]

Intel 450GX/KX ("Orion")

Intel's first Pentium Pro chipset was actually a pair of chipsets, both to my knowledge codenamed "Orion". These are high-performance chipsets that are also priced rather high. The 450GX is the so-called "server" version (even though the 450KX is often more than enough for many servers!). It supports unique features not found on other chipsets, including support for 8GB of 4-way interleaved memory, quad Pentium Pro processors, and two separate PCI buses! The 450KX is the "workstation" version of Orion and supports dual processors, and "only" up to 1GB of 2-way interleaved memory. Both chipsets support parity/ECC memory.

Note: There were problems with the earliest steppings of the Orion chipset; older machines using the 450GX/KX should be checked carefully for their revision numbers. These bugs caused some of the chipset features to have to be turned off to avoid problems, which had an impact on performance.

Due to their high cost, you are quite unlikely to see these chipsets used in PCs. They are, however, the de facto standard in the server world due to their advanced features and high performance. For PCs the 440FX "Natoma" chipset became the standard pretty much as soon as it was introduced.

Next: Intel 440FX ("Natoma")

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