Author Topic: Intel 430FX Chipset (Jan 1995) aka Intel Triton 1  (Read 1693 times)

Offline chrisNova777

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Intel 430FX Chipset (Jan 1995) aka Intel Triton 1
« on: September 20, 2017, 04:18:08 PM »
Intel made the first major jump into the chipset industry with the release of their very successful 430FX Chipset, commonly known as the Intel Triton I or simply the FX Chipset.
Although now impractical for most applications, the 430FX was a very strong performer and competitor during its time. Most of the original Triton's success came courtesy of its memory and disk controllers. The 430FX was the very first Intel chipset designed to officially support the, at the time, newest memory standard, Extended Data Out Dynamic Random Access Memory (EDO DRAM for short). This gave users, for the first time, the chance to get a taste of the high end market without shelling out the big bucks. The combination of high speed EDO DRAM with the advanced architectural features the original Pentium [Classic] had to offer made the FX Chipset ideal for most users, and that reign continued for quite some time as there was no real demand to replace the 430FX.

The Triton I also introduced the idea of using a technique called Busmastering to the enhanced IDE controller, which is the part of the chipset used for controlling EIDE peripherals (i.e. HDDs). These Busmastering capabilities were provided by the PIIX controller which in theory, and in practice, speeds up hard disk data transfers on either EIDE channel by granting EIDE peripherals certain SCSI like qualities. In spite of its strengths in memory support and hard disk access, the original Triton chipset had quite a few shortcomings. Although the 430FX allowed the use of up to 512KB of secondary Level 2 Pipeline Burst Cache (PBSRAM) and 128MB of RAM the chipset itself fails to cache any memory beyond the first 64MB. This posed a major problem to high end users expecting the maximum performance and power out of their systems.

Being the first member of the Triton family of chipsets the 430FX does not natively support any enhanced video features or caching schemes, the first introduction of such features came almost 2 years later with the release of the Intel 430VX chipset and its support for the Unified Memory Architecture. Power saving also isn't much of a strongpoint of the 430FX chipset, it fully supports the bare minimum requirements to be used in an "energy efficient" system, however features like Instant-On, and Suspend to Disk aren't included in this category. The performance of the original Triton isn't all that bad, however it is quite pointless to build a 430FX based system now since the torch has already been passed to the better designed 430HX and 430TX chipsets.

Intel 82430FX Chipset
Common Name   Triton I
Chipset Packaging   Number of chips   3 (82437FX, 82438FX, 82371FB)
Packaging Type   1 x 208-pin QFP; 2 x 100-pin QFP
CPU Support   Number of CPUs   1
AMD CPUs Supported   N/A
Cyrix CPUs Supported   N/A
Intel CPUs Supported   Pentium
Cache   Type   Asynchronous/Synchronous Pipeline Burst Cache
Maximum Supported Size   512KB
Maximum Cacheable DRAM Area   64MB
Memory   Maximum DRAM Supported   128MB
BEDO DRAM Read Timings (66MHz)   N/A
EDO DRAM Read Timings (66MHz)   7-2-2-2
FPM DRAM Read Timings (66MHz)   7-3-3-3
SDRAM Read Timings (66MHz)   N/A
Data Path to Memory   64-bits
ECC Support   No
Hard Disk Controller   Chip   PIIX (82371FB Controller)
Busmastering Support   Yes
UltraDMA Support   No
Max. Theoretical Transfer Rate   PIO Mode 4/DMA Mode 2 (16.6MB/S)
PCI Interface   Supported PCI Bus Speeds   25, 30, 33 MHz
Concurrent PCI   No
Async. PCI Bus Speed   No
PCI Specification   2.0 (66 MHz max.)
Power Management   PC97 Compliance   No
Suspend to Disk   No
HDD Power Down   Yes
Modem Wakeup   No
System Suspend   No
Video   AGP Support   No
Unified Memory Architecture   No
Peripheral Support   USB Support   No
Plug and Play Port   Yes
Write Buffers   CPU-to-DRAM   4 QWords
CPU-to-PCI   4 DWords
PCI-to-DRAM   12 DWords
Officially Supported Bus Speeds   50, 60, 66 MHz
Unofficially Achieved Bus Speeds   None