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Identifying via the box

Identifying via the board

System builder motherboard information
So many revisions, few compatible with Core 2 Duo

DailyTech has come across an Intel presentation detailing how to identify Core 2 Duo Conroe supporting Intel D975XBX Bad Axe motherboards. Intel’s D975XBX Bad Axe was originally released towards the end of 2005 in conjunction with the launch of the Pentium D 9xx series Presler processors. The board offered support for ATI’s CrossFire technology via two PCI Express x16 slots that had eight PCI-E lanes running to each slot. At the time it was publicly known Intel’s upcoming Core 2 Duo would be supported by Intel’s 975X Express chipset. It was unknown which motherboards would support Core 2 Duo since Core 2 Duo uses lower power and manufacturers would need to integrate the proper VRM. Intel wasn’t one of those manufacturers.

Only later revisions of the Intel D975XBX Bad Axe support Core 2 Duo processors. To identify if a board supports Core 2 Duo or not users will have to find the AA number on the motherboard or box. The AA number is located above the DIMM slots on motherboards and on top of the box. Motherboards with AA numbers that end in -304 or higher officially support upcoming Core 2 Duo Conroe processors. Revision -304 is the newest revision that was revised on March 17th, 2006. The new revision adds ten resistors and two capacitors to the existing D975XBX design and updates the BIOS to version 0618.

Intel is expected to announce a D975XBX2 motherboard later this year, at least according to Intel roadmaps. However, even though the motherboards have slightly different specifications, footnotes in the launch roadmaps seem to indicate the boards are more-or-less the same.

All Intel D975XBX motherboards retailers received after April 16th, 2006 should properly support Core 2 Duo Conroe processors. Other motherboard manufacturers such as ASUS, Epox, Gigabyte, MSI and Universal Abit are expected to produce Core 2 Duo compatible motherboards based on Intel’s 975X Express, P965 Broadwater, NVIDIA’s nForce 590 SLI and ATI’s RD600.





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