Nvidia could be first with budget DDR3 chipset

— 6:00 AM on April 11, 2008

Intel has been promoting DDR3 memory ever since the launch of its 3-series chipsets last year, but Nvidia could beat the chip giant to the punch in bringing DDR3 to mainstream motherboards, according to Expreview. The Chinese site claims Nvidia has a new "motherboard GPU" chipset planned that will support DDR3-1333 as well as DDR2-800 memory.

Expreview goes on to say the upcoming chipset, which is code-named MCP7A-U, will be part of a new GeForce 9-series motherboard GPU lineup for Intel processors, and that it will be paired with an nForce 730i south bridge. Features of the package will include HDMI video output, PCI Express 2.0, Gigabit Ethernet, support for six Serial ATA ports, and RAID 0, 1, 0+1, and 5 capability.

Allegedly, the MCP7A-U is scheduled to sample in May and could launch in July, which is the same launch month as that of Intel's upcoming G45 integrated graphics chipset. The G45 should also feature DDR3 support, but Expreview reckons the MCP7A-U might hit the market first. Of course, the utility of having DDR3 RAM in a budget system is questionable right now considering the memory type's cost and performance relative to DDR2. That situation could conceivably change in the coming months, though.

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