A multiprocessor data processing system (10), and a method of operating same, so as to provide efficient bandwidth utilization of shared system resources (24, 26). The system includes a plurality of processor nodes, each of which includes a data processor (22a, 28a). A first step of a method buffers data written by a data processor to a first bus (23a), prior to the data being transmitted to a second bus (32). Also buffered are byte enable (BE) signals generated by the data processor in conjunction with the data written by the data processor. A next step performs a main memory (26) write operation by transmitting the buffered data to the second bus; responsive to the stored BE signals, also transmitting a control signal for indicating if a memory write is to be accomplished as a read-modify-write (RMW) type of memory operation; and transmitting the stored BE signals to the second bus. A further step couples the data, the RMW signal, and the BE signals from the second bus to a third bus (24) for reception by the main memory.