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Intel's X38 refresh appears on its latest roadmaps

A memo forwarded to DailyTech reveals that Intel's X48 chipset has been added to the company's roadmap. The X48 is an updated version of Intel's X38 chipset, which was released by Intel a little over two weeks ago.

The Intel X48 chipset features support for Intel Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, and Core 2 Extreme processors. In additon, the chipset also supports Intel's Wolfdale and Yorkfield processors, which are yet to be released.

For those of you who have been paying attention, you'll notice that all of the features named so far are also present on Intel's X38 chipset. In fact, the only real new feature that the Intel X48 comes with is support for 1600MHz front side bus. As of right now, Intel doesn't plan for any other new features.

Intel previously launched its X38 chipset on October 10, 2007. The chipset had been delayed a number of times due to manufacturer support. As of right now, availability of Intel X38-based boards is still scarce.

Those looking to purchase Intel's 1600 MHz front-side bus 45nm Penryn processors in November will have to use a server-based platform, Skulltrail, to take full advantage of the increased bus speed.

Intel has so far not set a solid NDA-lift date for its X48 chipset other than the vague indication that the chipset will be announced in Q1 2008.

After the X48 launch, the company will also release two last LGA775 chipsets: P45 and G45, in Q2 2008.  These chipsets will feature Intel's updated southbridge (ICH10) and support for 1600 MHz front-side bus.  However, these new chips are not compatible with LGA1366 Nehalem desktop processors, which are slated for release in Q4 2008.


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Intel keeping to their 6month turn around
By cheetah2k on 10/26/2007 11:03:30 AM , Rating: 3
Intel's rapid change in SKU and chipset platforms is absolutely insane...

Come on guys, take a breather ;-p




RE: Intel keeping to their 6month turn around
By kileil on 10/26/2007 11:07:19 AM , Rating: 5
The X48 is an updated version of Intel's X38 chipset, which was released by Intel a little over two weeks ago.

I love it when my ordered gear is out-dated by the time UPS chucks it at my doorstep.


RE: Intel keeping to their 6month turn around
By retrospooty on 10/26/2007 11:40:27 AM , Rating: 2
Its not, same chipset, just clocked higher. A very mildly overclocked X38=X48. If you arent in to overclocking and are just buying an X48 and a matching 400mhz bus CPU for $1200+ dollars when released you are nutz.


RE: Intel keeping to their 6month turn around
By gramboh on 10/26/2007 1:20:56 PM , Rating: 2
It would only matter if you are running stock on a 1600FSB CPU I guess. My P965 board (P5B-Deluxe) that came out in Summer 2006 can run a 1600 FSB without issue (quad pumped 400MHz).


By retrospooty on 10/26/2007 1:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. My DFI P35 is running at 2000FSB (C2D 6750 at 8x500=4ghz) without the chipset even getting hot, and I live in Az.


RE: Intel keeping to their 6month turn around
By JAB on 10/26/2007 11:44:48 AM , Rating: 2
That is part of the plan though isnt it? Constant upgrades.

The only real difference is official support for the higher FSB and memory and a few minor improvements more of a minor revision than a new chipset. There will be plenty of people upgrading because of it though sadly enough. I wish I had the money and time to keep up.


By cheetah2k on 10/28/2007 10:55:16 PM , Rating: 2
Intel really want to push this "upgrade" scenerio to the limit...

Right now, I have to feel for the Motherboard manufacturers. Certainly on the Intel platform, gone are the days of the chipsets that could last 8-12 months without production changes

I would guess that with so many chipset and SKU changes, the likes of Asus, Gigabyte, etc will have to be selling less of each product. This may also drive the prices up even further on enthuisast mobos due to an even shorter production run.

I also conclude that companies providing chipsets like Nvidia (using the 680i as an example) will be trying to milk that platform for as long as they can, all the while Intel will probably have 4-5 chipset changes to Nvidia's 1.

On the Intel platform nowdays, we, the consumer, can no longer laugh about that saying "my PC is already old tech - 2-3 months after buying it". This is definately the hard fact of the matter for those wanting the latest and greatest...


By hellokeith on 10/26/2007 11:17:59 AM , Rating: 2
The DP35DP is Intel's latest board. I've always purchased Intel boards because of their rock-solid no-worry stability. I'm way overdue for a new PC, but all this X48 talk has me cautious about buying a board right now.

http://www.intel.com/products/motherboard/DP35DP/i...




By bdewong on 10/26/2007 1:43:01 PM , Rating: 1
I just bought this board and it does seem very stable. The latest bios also allow for memory configuration.
But there are a few things I dislike about the board, mainly the lack of PS2 ports. It also lacks any overclocking features for the CPU.
Good things about it are that is has more SATA ports than you will ever need and onboard RAID 0/1/5, esata, optical audio.
For the price, I think there is better and just as stable options.


By BansheeX on 10/26/2007 1:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
And when should mobos finally get rid of legacy connections? 2016? 2050? Never? Buy a USB mouse and keyboard and GET OVER IT.


By Spivonious on 10/26/2007 3:51:36 PM , Rating: 2
I still have my trusty PS/2 keyboard and it works fine. What does upgrading to a USB one get me? Absolutely nothing, except for one more used USB port.


By xsilver on 10/27/2007 1:48:32 AM , Rating: 3
on a p35 chipset board you have 10 usb ports.

1) mouse
2) keyboard
3) printer
4) card reader?
5) gamepad/joystick?
6) usb tv remote?
7) usb wireless card?
8) usb memory stick?
9) usb toothbrush?
http://www.watch.impress.co.jp/akiba/hotline/20030...
10) usb hamster wheel?
http://www.everythingusb.com/usb_hamster_wheel.htm...

x38 chipset I think actually has 12 usb ports too.
and about legacy keyboard use, there is an option to enable usb keyboard support in dos via the bios.


By Spivonious on 11/2/2007 3:24:45 PM , Rating: 2
So I should upgrade simply because the port is there? I know it's only $5 for a keyboard, but I'd rather get a bite to eat at McDonald's than needlessly replace something.


By Xerstead on 10/26/2007 8:06:56 PM , Rating: 1
And if you get problems with booting Windows? You'll need that ps2 mouse/keyboard to get it working again.


By Haltech on 10/26/2007 11:25:27 PM , Rating: 2
they do make usb to ps/2 cables just in case


Yet another advantage to intel...
By Darkskypoet on 10/26/2007 12:56:25 PM , Rating: 5
The breakneck release of chipset after chipset is actually a neat indication that intel is making the most of its platform to make up funds lost in the price war with AMD.

Not that I am insinuating they are hurting, far from it, look at their quarterly reports. However, the premium that is charged to adopt a highly over clockable intel platform, is that lovely north bridge that no intel chip will work without.

Simply put, by throwing out the north bridges to market, they are ensuring a nice steady revenue stream from a hierarchical SKU list of good, better, best, north bridges. It creates a price premium for the latest chipsets, and as more models exist at one time it is the epitome of price discrimination.

For the majority of the market, i.e No overclocking, AMD and Intel tend to be quite equivalent price to performance... However, While AMD essentially sells the north bridge as part of the cpu, Intel gets to make extra cash on top of the cpu sale with the North bridge sale. Thus by creating this plethora of choice on the north bridge side, they extract more or less monopolistic rent depending upon the chipset chosen. Platform costs then, on the intel side, have that extra variable to contend with, which quite honestly, for minimal work, can have enormous profit potential. Especially considering x38 vs x48.

However, as AMD continues to grow in market share, the OEM's know of this, and seem to be expressing it with a greater adoption rate of AMD platforms as the north bridge variable is taken out of the equation.

This is not about performance, more so it is about the reduced cost of the main board (traces for instance and the required silicon to make a functioning product. It also happens to be why mATX AMD product tends to overclock so much better then mATX Intel product. With an integrated north bridge, much of what is required to overclock is internalized in silicon, not left up to the main board manufacturer.

Long story short, Intel is milking its need for a separate north bridge, and willcontinue to do so until... (damn can't remeber the spelling) Nahealm?? lol... either way, they have a limited window with which to exercise this deficiency in a profit maximizing way. And it looks as though they are planning to do so.




RE: Yet another advantage to intel...
By Spivonious on 10/26/2007 3:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting thoughts. Just wanted to point out that the northbridge does a lot more than just handle CPU-memory communications, so saying that AMD sells the northbridge as part of the CPU is a bit wrong.


By Darkskypoet on 10/26/2007 8:08:48 PM , Rating: 2
Granted. However, the memory controller is probably the most R&D intensive part of the north bridge, and the single largest factor affecting performance (Aside from GPU). Added to this is the fact that with the AMD CPU architecture it's extremely simple to pair up a single (or multiple) chip(s) to the HT link provided. The simplified NB / SB, or Single Chip is still cheaper, and / or able to provide more functionality for a given die size. More PCI Express lanes, more transistors for GPU, UVD, etc. Either way, platforms giving x feature set, or x performance remain cheaper.

(In essence a plain NB for this platform could simply be a PCI-express implementation with PCI-Express to HT bridge; Something quite simple to toss onto a SB, or "insert name here" system silicon.)

However, in modern terms for NB functionality, you are right. (Is a Colbert-esque tip of the hat suitable?)

Have a good night.


Staying on top...
By jbzx86 on 10/26/2007 12:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, why doesn't Intel just create a modular motherboard where the chipset would be upgradeable? Expecting consumers to upgrade every 6 months is hardcore. Alas, I submit that this is the price we pay to stay on the cutting edge of technology...




RE: Staying on top...
By surt on 10/26/2007 1:10:36 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think intel expects everyone to upgrade every 6 months. Really, you won't get more than a 20% speedup, max, from upgrading.

Intel releases new products to make sure they stay competitive with AMD, and that's pretty much all there is to it. When a platform offers enough new features to you to be worth the money, then you upgrade.


RE: Staying on top...
By JonnyDough on 10/27/2007 5:29:13 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah, especially when motherboard manufacturers are almost all switching over to solid aluminum capacitors...the mobos of today are a lot better than those of previous years. You'd think they'd make some components optional and more components upgradeable. OEM's like Dell get to do this with their motherboards...even leaving off a PCI slot where there could be one just to save $.05 It would be really nice to see a well designed motherboard with options...wouldn't that be beautiful? We could even choose what PCI-E slot colors we wanted. Customization of cases is here, why not make motherboard customization a bit easier to do? I'm not asking to give me control over bios design...just the chips and so on. Why pay for 4 slots of ram if you're only going to use 2? Can't we add on the other slots later?


Looking forwared to G45
By Doormat on 10/26/2007 2:13:07 PM , Rating: 2
In the mobile realm, the G45 will finally bring DX10 support and decent performance to mobile platforms that use integrated graphics.




RE: Looking forwared to G45
By tcsenter on 10/27/2007 2:09:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
In the mobile realm, the G45 will finally bring DX10 support and decent performance to mobile platforms that use integrated graphics.
But not before GM965, GL960, and G35 will get full driver support for DX10 and SM4.0, the former two are already shipping, while G35 should be available by mid-November.

Drivers enabling full support for DX10 and SM4.0 won't be ready until Q1/2008, well ahead of G45's planned launch in Q2/2008. Based on current benchmarks of GMA X3000 with the latest drivers supporting SM3.0 and HW T&L, Intel is clearly still behind the performance of AMD and NVIDIA IGP. G45 should bring Intel's IGP onto parity with AMD and NVIDIA, or perhaps a slight edge over them, as well as improvements in video decoding, but not much more.


Wait...
By crystal clear on 10/27/2007 3:39:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

The X48 is an updated version of Intel's X38 chipset,

In fact, the only real new feature that the Intel X48 comes with is support for 1600MHz front side bus.
As of right now, Intel doesn't plan for any other new features.

also-
Intel has so far not set a solid NDA-lift date for its X48 chipset other than the vague indication that the chipset will be announced in Q1 2008.


All these quotes are itself vague & premature-

Obviously X48 is to be an updated version of the X38-nothing new,thats to be expected.

"As of right now, Intel doesn't plan for any other new features"

No evidence to back this- as the product itself is still in development phase.
the very fact that-Intel has so far not set a solid NDA-lift date for its X48 chipset other than the vague indication that the chipset will be announced in Q1 2008.


Note that development of this chipset requires to work in close co-operation with mobo manufacturers.

Example-
Intel previously launched its X38 chipset on October 10, 2007. The chipset had been delayed a number of times due to manufacturer support. As of right now, availability of Intel X38-based boards is still scarce.


To summarize it all-

I think its too early to come to any definite conclusions about the X48 chipset.
Rather wait for more details in the future on this




What to expect
By crystal clear on 10/27/2007 4:20:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As of right now, availability of Intel X38-based boards is still scarce.


Just an example of what to expect from mobo manufacturers in the future-More flexibility & more options.

A new motherboard from DFI called the LP UT P35. This is a "3" series enabled motherboard based on the P35 chipset codenamed "Bearlake".

The UT P35 comes in two basic flavors based on what memory you wish to support.
The LP UT P35 T2R supports DDR2 while the LP UT P35 T3R supports the new DDR3 standard.
The boards are virtually identical so be sure to get the right version to support your memory option.

The 3 series chipset family consists of basic 4 core logic systems.

The P35 and G33 are separated by an integrated graphics core while the X38 and G35 are slightly enhanced versions of the P35 .

Note-
The is just an example-All Tire 1 mobo manufacturers have similar product offerings giving More flexibility & more options.





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