Price: US $130 Street
With the release of the Intel 815E chipset, the motherboard chipset landscape changed drastically. Previously, Intel was standing pat with their old guard Intel BX maintaining a large presence in the performance market, but with little to show from their newer chipsets. Intel's recent track record with chipsets has not exactly been stellar. Due to the RDRAM support issues, and subsequent SDRAM MTH recall, the Intel 820 did not make the impact Intel had hoped. Their i810 chipsets did well in the value segment, but the absence of a dedicated AGP slot hampered its acceptance in other areas. To make matters worse, VIA Technologies has been making hay with their Apollo Pro 133/A chipsets and really creating an impact in a market where Intel had long ruled the roost.
Through the 815 and 815E chipsets, Intel hopes to gain back much of the performance desktop market that has been lost to VIA. This is a very important chipset for Intel, since it represents their SDRAM-capable product line for the foreseeable future and bridges the gap between their current BX chipset and their feature-rich i810 and i820 products. The i815E is basically an upgrade to the existing Intel BX, and attempts to maintain the high performance of its predecessor along with adding much needed features to the product mix.
Gigabyte Technology has worked hard to make itself one of the most recognizable names in the motherboard community. Their motherboard designs revolve around providing an extremely stable and compatible platform for both business and home users alike. Gigabyte has also been at the forefront of innovative hardware technology, such as their DualBIOS and DualCooling features. While Gigabyte has pushed the envelope as far as hardware options go, they have been reluctant to give the same attention to their software overclocking features.