ASUS P3C 2000 Camino Board - Page 1
By Wy Mun
INTEL’s Camino (or I820)
chipset has been the long-awaited successor to their popular,
but aging BX model. With slated support for AGP 4x + Fast
Writes and up to 800MHz memory bandwidth via RAMBUS
technology, the Camino was posed as the firm replacement for
its BX predecessor.
However, when it finally did arrive, it
was marred by the non-availability + exorbitant RDRAM pricing
(which the chipset was designed for use with). Perhaps INTEL,
in their fervor to develop a chip without compromise, may have
overlooked the affordability of such dependent technologies in
Then entered VIA with their
next generation Apollo chipsets (133A) that offered similar
features, albeit only with support for slower 133MHz SDRAMs.
With their more progressive roadmap (their next chipset
supposedly supports 266MHz DDRAMs), VIA seems to offer a more
“VIA”-ble interim solution and serious short-term threat
to INTEL Camino boards.
Nevertheless, a few
motherboard manufacturers have still opted to adopt INTEL’s
Camino chipset, but circumventing the RDRAM shortage by
producing slower SDRAM renditions. Perhaps, a nudge from INTEL may have precipitated this,
as part of a desperate measure to rival VIA’s next
generation Apollo-based boards. Asustek
is one of the few makers that used
chipsets from both factions and has recently released their
Camino based P3C series. As usual, several variants are offered – including an
innovative RIMM version (with Riser adaptor card so that
SDRAMs can also be used), a purely SDRAM version, etc.
We were fortunate to get hold
of the Asustek P3C-2000, SDRAM-based version for testing.