Pentium M on your Socket 478 platform


An Intel Pentium M 479-pin CPU on a Socket 478 platform??

Last week ASUS quietly released a press release on the CT-479 motherboard adapter. While the CT-479 is not yet available on the market, and there is no set retail price, ASUS has set the enthusiast and corporate communities abuzz with this socket adapter that allows Intel’s 479 pin CPUs to be used on current socket 478 boards..

Since the introduction of Intel’s Prescott processor for socket 478 motherboards more than a year ago, end users have been unhappy with the Prescott’s performance, which was mainly due to the extended pipelines that were never used to their full potential. In addition, the heat generated from the 90nm manufacturing process drove people crazy with loud or extreme cooling solutions. If you wanted to run a silent PC, Intel’s Prescott processor was the last CPU you’d want to use.

Recently, Intel’s Pentium M processor has established itself as the powerhouse of Intel’s processor family among enthusiasts and corporate users. The major drawback with this processor to this point has been that it has 479 pins, and will not work on any available desktop boards. At the end of 2004, companies like DFI and AOpen launched micro-ATX boards that supported the powerful Pentium-M processor. While these boards offer new possibilities to consumers they are still based around the expensive Intel 855GM chipset and therefore boards like the DFI 855GME-MGF are still priced at $215 for just the motherboard/ heatsink. ASUS told us the CT-479 motherboard adapter would be priced under $50 USD, and when paired with a board like the ASUS P4P800SE that also costs under $100, consumers now have more choices with better performance and pricing. The ASUS Pentium-M solution offers four DIMM slots, maximum 4GB memory support, dual-channel DDR 400 architecture and AGP 8x graphics standard all thanks to the i865/i875 chipsets.

ASUS CT-479 Pentium M Adapter
ASUS’s CT-479 Pentium-M to Socket 478 Upgrade Kit

The CT-479 seen above actually has a quite a bit more to it than one might expect. Since the adapter will not allow a standard socket 478 heat sink to be used ASUS provides one with the kit. The blue jumpers are to adjust the FSB (front-side-bus) for CPU support. Depending on which Pentium M is purchased, users can select bus frequency of 533MHz or 400MHz via the jumpers. Also of special note is the 4-pin power header that is used to power the adapter. Can’t say that I have seen that before, but with Intel Dothan CPU’s only needing 1.34V and the i865/i875 boards offering much higher voltages they should have no problem with the power draw.

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