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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Motherboard and System Devices | System Chipset and Controllers | Popular Chipsets | Fifth Generation (Pentium Class) Intel Chipsets ]

Intel 430HX ("Triton II")

The Triton II HX chipset was created by Intel to address some of the shortcomings of the original Triton. It was intended to be a higher-end chipset aimed at the business or professional market.

The HX chipset's primary advantages over the FX are:

  • Support for parity and ECC memory.
  • Dual processor support.
  • Support for 512 MB of system memory instead of just 128 MB.
  • Support for 512 MB of cached system memory instead of just 64 MB (if the optional larger tag RAM is installed.)
  • Much improved performance, due to faster memory timing and more I/O buffers.
  • PCI level 2.1 compliance.
  • USB support.
  • Independent device timing for IDE/ATA drives.

This is a full-featured chipset, and has been the most popular Intel Pentium chipset for those who are performance-oriented. Motherboards using it tend to be slightly more expensive than those using the FX or VX chipsets. Its biggest advantages are its faster performance, much larger maximum cacheable RAM, and parity / error correction support.

The 430HX is the only current Intel Pentium-class chipset to offer parity and error corrected memory support. This makes it the only choice (as far as this author is concerned) for mission critical applications, servers, etc., unless you want to use a non-Intel chipset. Unfortunately, the HX chipset has now been discontinued, which means that choices are becoming much more limited.

Note: Support for the full 512 MB of cached memory is only provided if the motherboard provides enough tag RAM; an 11-bit tag RAM is required. Most good motherboards do provide this support.

Warning: Beware the so-called "HX Pro" chipset, which is not the 430HX but a cheaper imitator trying to confuse the buying public by making it sound like an enhanced 430HX chipset.

Next: Intel 430VX ("Triton II", a.k.a. "Triton III")

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